Leddihn & McAtee On The Conservative Disposition

“Conservatism on the Continent was based on disciplined thought from the start. Chronologically it falls into the period of late Romanticism and opposes ideas and ideologies emanating from the sentimental disorders of early Romanticism. Its opponent is the French Revolution (including the Napoleonic aftermath) with its egalitarianism, nationalism and laicism. But, as it so often happen in the battle of ideas, the good old principle fas est ab hoste doceri (it is right to learn even from an enemy) is applied a great deal to liberally, with the result that early 19th century conservatism has a rigidity and harshness reminding us of the hard school through which these early conservatives had to go: the school of French Revolution and the interminable sanguinary wars caused by the Napoleonic aftermath. Their school, as we said, was tough and therefore an element of severity and repression characterizes early conservatism, a certain belief in force if not in brutality, an unwillingness to enter any sort of dialogue or to conduct gentle and shrewd reeducation of its opponents. One does not discuss with assassins from whom one never expected humaneness, leniency, or tolerance. They must be mastered, fought, jailed, and, if worst comes to worst, locked up or exiled. In view of the horrors of the French Revolution and Napoleon’s trail of blood all over Europe from the gates of Lisbon to the heart of Moscow, this attitude is not surprising.”

Leftism; From de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Marcuse
Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn — pg 387

Conservatives practice tough love born of a love for God and people. This tough love that comes across, in Leddihnn’ words, “as rigid and harsh” and “severe and repressive,” is born of both a knowledge of where matters are going if Leftism and its practitioners are not stopped and of a love for God and people.

Epistemologically self conscious conservatives (and such people are always Christians) are aware of the stakes. They have read Shire, Conquest, and Solzhenitsyn. Epistemologically self conscious conservatives understand the anti-Christ ideology that animates Leftism and because conservatives are familiar with history they know where that ideology leads. Epistemologically self conscious conservatives have read the stories about what happened to those who have tried to resist the plans of the left; the Vendee, the Kulaks, and the Boer. They can recite the cruel accounts against Maria Luisa of Savoy, Hans and Sophie Scholl, and Isaak Babel. Countless are the names of those who have had the cruelty of the left visited upon them. Epistemologically self conscious conservatives are familiar with the cruel tools of the left; Necklacing, Gloving (peeling the skin off the hands,), aborting, and Madam La Guillotine. Epistemologically self conscious conservatives can tell you about the Gulag, the Concentration camp, and the Psychological ward — residences provided by the left for the burgeoning legion of dissenters. Epistemologically self conscious conservatives are mindful of the left’s brainwashing, propaganda, and manipulation machine. You can hardly blame epistemologically self conscious conservatives for not being sunny and cheery when it comes to warning people off of the ideology and practice of the Left. How many of millions of graves must conservatives weep over — graves that need not had been filled if conservative counter-revolutionaries had been listened to — until epistemologically self conscious conservatives will be cut some slack regarding the fact that they are not as nice as they might otherwise be?

It is not Conservatives who are the cold-hearted, rigid, and repressive bastards. Any edginess you see in a epistemologically self conscious conservative is a edginess that is born of compassion for people. We have seen the ugly maw of Leftism and we would walk through bedlam and chaos in order to deliver people from the Christ-less ugly and monochromatic world that the left always try to produce in its mad pursuit of Utopia.

Propositional Nationhood

As long as Republicans support the idea of propositional nationhood you can consider them a Marxist party. Marxist political theory is guided by the putative truism that nations can be held together with the glue of propositions and ideas. Last night Condoleeza Rice gave us, in her speech, that same idea that so many Republicans and Democrats buy into. It is the same propaganda that the American citizenry has had pounded into their head for decades.

This from the speech of Condoleeza Rice last night at the RNC

“After all, when the world looks to America, they look to us because we are the most successful political and economic experiment in human history. That is the true basis of “American Exceptionalism.” The essence of America—that which really unites us—is not ethnicity, or nationality or religion—it is an idea…”

It is not possible for a nation to be a nation unless the citizenry share ethnicity, and religion, as well as sharing a History, literature, music and heroes. Also, the fact that a educated person could say that the essence of America (that which defines us as a nation) is not nationality is mind boggling. How can nationality not define a nation?

Well, one reason I suspect that Republicans and Democrats both thump the idea that nationality can’t define a nation is that nation itself is defined as, “a large aggregate of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory.”

That this is true in our own founding is seen in the reality that America was founded by those of the British Isle who had a firm understanding of the Rights of Englishmen, and further who shared, Maryland excepting, a Protestant religion. The essence of America in its founding was most definitely not, contra Dr. Condoleeza Rice, an idea or series of propositions. Now, propositions may have eventually been part of the equation but it was only part of the equation after a shared ethnicity, religion, and culture was already in place. That this is so can be seen by our own US Constitution.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Note that both the Founders and Ratifiers of the US Constitution founded this country upon the premise that it would be for them and their posterity. They did not premise it upon a idea or proposition. I know it is not PC to say it but they and their posterity were all Northern Europeans. They all believed in the Rights of Englishmen. They all believed in English Common law. They did not create a propositional country.

It’s acceptable if Japan is occupied by Japanese. Very few people argue that Japan should be a propositional nation. It’s acceptable if Kenya is occupied by Kenyans. Very few people argue that Kenya should be a propositional nation. It’s acceptable if Saudi Arabia is occupied by Saudi Arabians. Very few people argue that Saudi Arabia should be a propositional nation. But American has become a International nation … a nation without borders and so what has been forced upon us is the silly idea of propositional nationhood.

That such an idea is quickly falling apart can be readily seen by those with eyes to see.

And to be precise … if it is true, Per Condoleeza Rice, that we are united based on that idea (proposition) that Condi gives, that idea thus becomes our religion so that we are indeed united by religion.


Below is the original proposition upon which Marxist nations are united.

The fundamental proposition of the Communist Manifesto

In the words of Frederick Engels:

The Manifesto being our joint production, I consider myself bound to state that the fundamental proposition which forms its nucleus, belongs to Marx. That proposition is: That in every historical epoch, the prevailing mode of economic production and exchange, and the social organization necessarily following from it, form the basis upon which is built up, and from which alone can be explained, the political and intellectual history of that epoch; that consequently the whole history of mankind (since the dissolution of primitive tribal society, holding land in common ownership) has been a history of class struggles, contests between exploiting and exploited, ruling and oppressed classes; that the history of these class struggles form a series of evolutions in which, nowadays, a stage has been reached where the exploited and oppressed class—the proletariat—cannot attain its emancipation from the sway of the exploiting and ruling class—the bourgeoisie—without at the same time, and once and for all, emancipating society at large from all exploitation, oppression, class distinctions, and class struggles.

From the 1888 Preface of The Manifesto

The Marxist propositional theme that united their Nations, as the Nation became merely an extension of the State, (they eventually wanted to eliminate Nations in their movement towards globalist utopia), was upon the Hegelian proposition of thesis, anti-thesis and synthesis. That was the idea (proposition when stated) upon which they based the nation they were seeking to eliminate. So they were and remain propositional nations,

The Marxist nation-states were not united by ethnicity. The Marxists consistently try to eliminate that by either amalgamation or outright destruction. The Marxist leaders would insist that the nation-state was not united by religion (though it actually was to a degree — the religion of Marxism). The only thing left to unite a nation at that point, is either a proposition or brute force. Now, brute force is actually what keeps Marxist nation-states together but when they advertised themselves they will never admit that and so the only thing left for them to admit, as to what holds their nation-state together, is a proposition.

Correcting Dr. Bradley On His War Against Christendom Of The Past

Over here


Dr. Anthony Bradley continues with his complaint against Rev. Doug Wilson concerning Rev. Wilson’s lack of historgraphy skills in relation to the antebellum South.

In the piece above Dr. Bradley is offended at the instances where the antebellum South is embraced in an idolatrous fashion. And of course, where ever there exists Christians that have made an idol out of the Old South, all Christians would agree that such idolatry is a wicked evil sin that should be abjured. However, Dr. Bradley goes a step further by saying that this idolatry occurs in “many Reformed circles in America.” Many Reformed circles? Many Reformed circles? This seems to be a rather sweeping indictment against Reformed Christians. How does Dr. Bradley substantiate his charge? Has he taken a poll? Has he gotten on the mailing lists of enough Reformed circles wherein he might be able to make an reasonable guess?

Further Dr. Bradley goes on to say that this Idolatry has existed without much resistance. Really? I can only speak from my own reading but in much of my reading I see a great deal of resistance. For example several years ago the Reformed circle that is the PCA issued an apology for and expression of repentance from the alleged racist past of Presbyterians they see as their direct forbears. If a Reformed circle is offering this kind of apology, I don’t know how it could be said that they were at the same time making an idol out of the antebellum South. In point of fact if people would read all the heat in way of comments that Dr. Bradley’s observations have created they would see all kinds of resistance to this putative confederate idolatry.

None of this is to say that I agree with Dr. Bradley’s contention. It is merely to say that Dr. Bradley has made some sweeping charges here that he can not, in any objective manner, substantiate as being true. It’s just his opinion — an assertion without any grounding.

Dr. Bradley then opines that it would be best to consider the era of the antebellum South a “rubbish” for the sake of gaining Christ (Phil. 3:8) and his Kingdom. Well, sure, this would be true even for the person who could imagine belonging to the most perfect social order that ever existed. Would not that person count that as rubbish in order to gain Christ? Why I can even imagine that Dr. Bradley would count as “rubbish” his association with “Reformed Blacks of America,” for the sake of gaining Christ.

So what point is Dr. Bradley making with his “rubbish” comment? Is he suggesting that in order to have Christ Southerners must give up their Southern heritage? Is Dr. Bradley saying that the antebellum South of R. L. Dabney, James Henley Thornwell, John Lafayette Girardeau, and Benjamin Morgan Palmer was anti-Christ? No one is suggesting that the antebellum South was without fault or that the men just mentioned didn’t have blind spots, but to suggest that it was not a Christian culture worthy of respect and esteem is to damn God’s work among His people. The truth be known, the antebellum South, with all its warts, was the last muscular expression of Christian culture on a civilizational level the world has ever known. And yet even R. L. Dabney said, “A righteous God, for our sins towards Him, has permitted us to be overthrown by our enemies and His.” So, just exactly why should Christians with a Southern heritage count their birthright “rubbish?”

Fortunately, one can at the same time, Dr. Bradley’s opinions notwithstanding, hold on to their God given Southern heritage, without making it an idol, while at the same time gaining Christ.

Dr. Bradley seems to think that the fact that the antebellum South is to be seen as “rubbish” because it did not allow all blacks to be fully human. Yet many many of these enslaved blacks were Christian by confession. Now, certainly Dr. Bradley is not suggesting that blacks, ontologically speaking were sub-human. I think what Dr. Bradley is saying here is that blacks were not as human as they otherwise might have been if they had not been enslaved. Since blacks did not have the rights they were supposed to have, I think Dr. Bradley is saying that enslaved blacks in the antebellum South had less opportunity to experience all of what it means to be human than they otherwise would have had. In other words, their opportunity to experience the fullness of humanity was thwarted due to their enslavement. However, I do not believe that all because a person is a slave that means that, existentially speaking, they missed out on experiencing the fullness of being human. In the New Testament Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, gives instruction to both slaves and masters in order to regulate the institution along Christian lines. This inspired New Testament regulation of slaves and slavery proves that slavery is not ipso facto a denial of the rights of “full humanity” to blacks and at this point Dr. Bradley’s criticism against the Old South is really a criticism of the biblical view of slavery. As difficult as it is for moderns to hear, the fact that the Holy Spirit in the New Testament regulated the institution of slavery indicates that there is nothing inherently wrong with the master-slave relation. Thanks to the Gospel witness of many fine Southerners countless enslaved blacks, now part of the Church at rest, knew, while alive, all the fullness of being human. In point of fact, because they were in Christ, they recovered a full humanness that they would not have otherwise known had they never come to know Christ.

Dr. Bradley tells us that he is not accusing Rev. Wilson of racism but rather he is accusing him of insufficient historiography. One wonders though why Dr. Bradley even notices Rev. Wilson’s historiography except for the fact that said historiography gives aid and support to alleged racists. So, Rev. Wilson isn’t racist, but his historiography leads to putative racism? Curious reasoning there on Dr. Bradley’s part. (Note, we are not even pursuing whether there is an agreed meaning of the word “racist.”)

Dr. Bradley then speaks of the links that he provided for his preferred historiography. Dr. Bradley seems to suggest that Rev. Wilson’s historiography is suspect simply because it is controversial. But in the spirit of providing historiography might I recommend that those YRR / new Calvinist types who want to get up to speed also get a hold of a copy of “Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1938.” In these exit interviews by former slaves you will read many voices giving a different view of slavery then is commonly portrayed. In point of fact you will read many former slaves who, “make a case for such a thing as “virtuous” Southern Confederate values.” I would also recommend, “Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made,” by Eugene D. Genovese, or, “The Tragic Era – The Revolution After Lincoln,” by Claude G. Bowers, or, “North against South; The American Illiad, 1848-1877, by Ludwell Johnson, or, “The Coming of the Civil War, by Avery Craven, or, “Lincoln, The Man,” by Edgar Lee Masters, or, “A youth’s history of the great Civil War in the United States from 1861 to 1865,” by R.G.B. Horton. Look, this era and the history surrounding this era is incredibly complex subject (the destruction of a great civilization usually is) and Dr. Bradley, by throwing out a few book suggestions from assorted Liberals, progressives, and non-Southerners, is being more than a bit simplistic by suggesting that Rev. Wilson’s historiography is simplistic all because Wilson’s reading isn’t the same as Dr. Bradley’s.

Dr. Bradley asks, “Why is there such interest in defending the South?” Perhaps the answer to that is found not in a longing for a return to slavery. Perhaps the answer to that question is found in the South’s insistence on limited government. In our current era, where Centralized government is running roughshod over state duties, family duties, and individual duties why wouldn’t people long for a time when, in principle, decentralized and diffused government is advocated. Perhaps the answer to why there is such interest in defending the South is found in the fact that the South was characterized by respect for families, the presence of chivalry, the last culture of honor, and the presence of a distinctly Christian church that had real influence for good among the population, both black and white. Despite Dr. Bradley’s suggestion that the defense of the South is about regret for loss of power and privilege perhaps it is explained by a longing for 5th commandment proper hierarchies and distinctions.

Dr. Bradley says that such a longing is insulting to blacks. Why? Can Dr. Bradley name one person in Reformed circles who wants to bring back the virtues of the southern social order along with black slavery? If we could find our way to a social order without black slavery and also without all the vices of cultural Marxism that we currently have what would be so terrible about that? What would be so terrible about a social order where civil government power was decentralized and diffuse? What would be so terrible about a social order that took seriously again the 9th and 10th amendment? What would be so terrible about a social order where family is healthy once again? What would be so terrible about a social order that once again found the Christian Church having a vibrant voice in the community? What would be so terrible about a social order that was once again agrarian? What would be so terrible about a social order uninfluenced by Jacobins, cultural Marxists, Corporatists, Fascists and other assorted collectivists? These virtues are hardly “rubbish.” Some might even say these virtues are Christian.

It is true that it is possible to make an idol out of the antebellum South. It is likewise possible to make an idol out of destroying all lingering memory of the antebellum South. Both tendencies should be avoided.

Historical Calvinism & Political Resistance … Contra R2K

‎”For earthly princes lay aside their power when they rise up against God, and are unworthy to be reckoned among the number of mankind. We ought, rather, to spit upon their heads than to obey them.”

John Calvin,
Commentary on Daniel, Lecture XXX Daniel 6:22

Calvinist Francis Hotman posed this question,

“If a state was once free, but later was conquered by a tyrant, was it not lawful to overthrow the tyrant and revert to that ancient Independence?”

“The nature of wicked princes is much like to warthogs, which if they be suffered to have their snouts in the ground, and be not forthwith expelled, will suddenly have their snouts in all the body; So they if they be obeyed in any evil thing be it ever so little will be obeyed in all at length.”

John Ponet
Magisterial Reformer

‎”When therefore the supreme ruler has become a tyrant, he must be deemed by his own perjury (as against the covenant document with the people) to have freed people from their oath, and not to the contrary, when the people assert their rights against him.”

Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos
(Thought to have been written by a one of two men … both of whom were Calvinists)

“As often as the Magistrate commands anything that is repugnant EITHER to the worship which we owe unto God OR to the love which we owe unto our neighbor, we cannot yield thereunto with a safe conscience. For as often as the commandment of God and men are directly opposed one against another, this rule is to be perpetually observed; that it is better to obey GOD than men.”

Theodore Beza
Calvin’s Successor in Geneva

“Resistance to tyrannical governors was, according to (Calvinist Pierre) Viret, a legitimate act of self defense. He even endorsed the use of disinformation if the tyrant were persecuting as analogous to resisting a band of robbers. If the political leader acted like a criminal, Viret thought he should be treated like a one, and the citizens were justified in resisting him.”

The Political Ideas of Pierre Viret
Robert Dean Linder — p. 131

According to William Naphy’s “Calvin and the Consolidation of the Genevan Reformation, (p. 159-160)” Calvin, in his preaching confronted the Magistrates in his congregation. Naphy concludes that Calvin’s preaching was at times direct, confrontational, and “politically informed.” One of Calvin’s 1522 sermons landed Calvin in front of the Council to explain why he spoke of the senators and the other civil rulers in a sermon as

“Arguing against God”
“Mocking him,”
“Rejecting all the Holy scriptures to vomit forth their blasphemies as supreme decrees

And as (my personal favorite)

“Gargoyle monkeys [who] have become so proud”

Interesting material from Peter Martyr (Calvinist)

Martyr stipulated that others in the public weal, who were in ‘place and dignity lower than princes’ and yet in positions of responsibility to ‘elect the superiors,’ have power by existing laws to govern the commonwealth. If, therefore, a prince does not preform his covenant as promised, ‘it is lawful to constrain and bring him into order and by force compel him to fulfill the conditions and covenant which he had promised, and that by war when it cannot be otherwise done.’

And who does Martyr include in his list of “others in the public weal’ who had a responsibility to keep an eye on wandering Magistrates?

Why Peter Martyr includes “Ministers of the Churches,” as those who had a responsibility to keep an eye on wandering Magistrates.

“Loyal shoulders should sustain the power of the ruler so long as it is exercised in subjection to God and follows His ordinances; but if it resists and opposes the divine commandments, and wishes to make me share in its war against God, then with unrestrained voice, I answer back that God must be preferred before any man on earth.”

-John of Salisbury, Policraticus, 1159

“All Men Are Created Equal…”

“All men are created equal,” as advanced in the Declaration of Independence was NOT a grasp at asserting “equality of opportunity,” or “equality of outcome,” as those ideas are advanced today in the name of equality. To read “All men are created equal …” as such is to import our ideas of egalitarianism back upon the Founders. All men created equal merely meant then that all had ontological equality since all were CREATED. In our language today in the Church we might say that all men are equal because all men are the image of God. That the Founders did not believe that all men were equal in the sense of equality of identity is seen later in the Declaration when they can complain about “savages.”

“He (King George III) has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.”

Certainly no one believes that our Founders believed those “savages” they reference were equal to themselves as Englishman in terms of “equality of identity.”

So, I do not agree with those that insist that the Founders had the type of equality in mind that moderns seem to think that they had. That kind of equality was foreign to them and was an import of Enlightenement Romanticism that came in during the Jacksonian rise of the common man and eventually flowered into Transcendentalism which set the Northern Yankee armies marching to pillage, rape and burn under the flag of “French Revolution equality.”

Being a “Founder American” I am against notions of “equality of opportunity” for the simple reason that it intrudes the State into areas it has no business in. How can the State make sure that a McAtee newborn can have the same opportunity that a newborn of Jesse Jackson, or Colin Powell can have? Can’t happen and so the myth of equality of identity as believed by the Enlightenment Americans (and nowhere enshrined in the Declaration of Independence) should be silenced.