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February 26, 2021

Blast from the Past: A Commentator Describes Northern (Liberalish) "Conservatism," in 1897

Holy mackerel.

You read this description of "Northern conservatism," and its endless capitulation to radical progressivism, and subsequent defense of the victories of radical progressivism as the new status quo to be championed, and you tell me this wasn't written just yesterday.

As opposed to 1897.

He wrote in the late nineteenth century that the women's rights movement would certainly prevail, because its only opponent was Northern Conservatism, which failed to ever conserve anything.

It may be inferred again that the present movement for women's rights will certainly prevail from the history of its only opponent: Northern conservatism.

This is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation.

What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn.

American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. . . .

Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain.

It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle.

It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth, and has no idea of being guilty of the folly of martyrdom.

It always when about to enter a protest very blandly informs the wild beast whose path it essays to stop, that its "bark is worse than its bite," and that it only means to save its manners by enacting its decent role of resistance: The only practical purpose which it now serves in American politics is to give enough exercise to Radicalism to keep it "in wind," and to prevent its becoming pursy and lazy, from having nothing to whip.

No doubt, after a few years, when women's suffrage shall have become an accomplished fact, conservatism will tacitly admit it into its creed, and thenceforward plume itself upon its wise firmness in opposing with similar weapons the extreme of baby suffrage; and when that too shall have been won, it will be heard declaring that the integrity of the American Constitution requires at least the refusal of suffrage to asses. There it will assume, with great dignity, its final position.

Dabney was a Confederate Army chaplain so that partly explains his vehemence about Northern conservatism.

And yeah: He thought that slavery was a conservative institution worth conservatively conserving.

Dabney defended the biblical "righteousness" of slavery and opposed public schools.

That said: Man, is this a near-perfect description of today's form of "conservatism," treating the victories the left scored five years ago as the New Tradition to be defended, or what?

Fake Conservatism is not standing athwart history shouting "Stop!" but rather meekly mumbling, "Just wait five years and then we'll join you as passionate brothers-in-arms."

A "conservatism" that is nothing but "What the progressives wanted five years ago" is not any kind of philosophy. It is only a never-ending retreat.


Thanks to RealityStation.

Semi-related: The Incela Corridor boys all fall over themselves to salute their leftwing handlers, so I guess this is related:






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