Jump now to the time of Corona, in the year of our Lord 2020. “Conservative is kind of a meaningless word now,” a young and skilled writer (one I like to read, Brad Polumbo) recently stated on social media. Meanwhile, over at the venerable Intercollegiate Studies Institute, an institution charged with promoting conservatism within higher education, another young and gifted writer, Gracy Olmstead, writes: “I am loath, in fact, to embrace the label ‘conservative’ myself—in part because of the ways most people define it, and in part because I am unsure whether any political label fully defines my beliefs.”
I suppose it must be age and, perhaps to some extent, ego, but I find such statements to be as mystifying as they are unsatisfying. While I agree that conservatism is not, nor ever should be, a political label, I am far less certain that it should be loathed or dismissed so readily. I also fear that in this age of Trumpian populism and soft authoritarianism, conservatism is all too readily confused with populism.
The most important question for any conservative remains: what should be conserved?
— Read on www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/theres-no-real-definition-of-conservatism-and-thats-a-good-thing/
Is economics a liberal art? The question is more complicated than you might think: https://egnatiavia.blogspot.com/2020/07/liberal-economics.html?fbclid=IwAR2RintLEggX9qz4r8PL1KNI4XgcsjBrPU8yQHbjBglVUQlMdxqyHZc0DI4
BY RICHARD K. MUNRO
It’s all good. If you want to spout off in ways that some folks are going to find offensive, you have to pay the piper.” So Ruben Navarrette is not worried about the cancel culture.
Yes, Ruben Navarrette except for one thing. The foul lines are being constantly moved. I believe in sacramental tradition marriage; even five or ten years ago this would not have been a radical statement (President Obama claimed his supported this view until he “evolved”). But today, in many quarters just to say this is homophobic and yet I have never opposed the legality of Gay Marriage or ever written or said anything anti-Gay. I just believe that secular marriage offered by the government is meaningless to me. I am a Christian traditionalist and I believe “God made man in his own image in the image of God created he him, man and woman alike.” I believe marriage means openness to children.
So I can peacefully coexist with Gay Marriage or “marriage equality” just like I peaceably exist with the legality of abortion on demand. I have a strong reverence for life so my personal beliefs are to sympathize with the Pro-life side but I don’t think we will ever have a constitutional amendment abolishing or prohibiting abortion because 1) abortion exists in nature (miscarriage) 2) many people if not most belief abortion is an acceptable form of birth control and fanatically support their individual right to have one. 3) new drugs and abortifacients will make abortion a private matter no longer practiced in clinics. The only thing I can do is pray for and support a pro-family pro-life culture (especially in our personal family life). But I know people have to choose to have reverence for life. I just believe that life is a better choice than death.
Nothing I can say or do will dissuade them but I still believe that inducing an abortion of a healthy child is morally selfish and evil. To me it is a great tragedy -a far worse tragedy than the death of a single African-American by an overzealous policeman. All black lives matter born and unborn. That’s a slogan you will never see. And If I publicized it I would come under withering attack. Yet Martin Luther King jr. would probably have agreed with me.
So perhaps you don’t agree with my point of view but 1) I have no desire to force my opinion on others 2) it is my right to freely express my opinion and to practice my private religion and teach that morality to my children and grandchildren by my words and by my example. Right is right and wrong is wrong. The killing of a prisoner by overzealous policemen is wrong and those responsible should be brought to justice. But there is so many more African-Americans being snuffed out in abortion clinics by far and killed by gang shootings. So in my view, focusing on the relatively few (9 last year) of police killings of unarmed Black men is doing nothing to help America or the African-American community.
Caring about all black lives is not, and cannot be construed as supporting White Supremacy. I am not a White Supremacist and I have opposed White Supremacy my entire life. I believe in the melting pot. It is not by chance my godson is African-American and none of my grandchildren are white but all are Mexican-American. My daughter dated an African-American man in college and I never said a single thing about it. I was happy he treated my daughter with respect and provided her with a certain security when she went on long car trips. She broke up with him but not because of his race but because of his character. He was superficially charming but undisciplined he couldn’t finish school or hold down a job. But my daughter followed what I taught her: judge each person as they come as an individual not by their race or class. I taught my children to be “color blind” but today of course even that notion comes under attack as “racist” something I find unbelievable. My Catholic faith teaches me than we are all one human family. Being obsessed with race and believing racial differences are important is the mark of a racist person (such as a White Supremacist). But my conscience is clear. People can call me any name they want but I stand justified with my maker and know I do not teach nor support evil.
Stanislaw Augustus (1732-1798) was the last Polish king. Not without controversy, he was one of the greatest patrons of the arts and sciences in his day. In his many efforts, he supported publishing, libraries, architecture, education, painting, cartography, ballet, theater, and industry. He was also the co-author of the Polish constitution of May 3, 1791. A great and meaningful reformer, the last monarch essentially undid his own position.
In An Appeal from the Old Whigs to the New, the grand Anglo-Irish statesman, Edmund Burke, praised the May 3, 1791 constitution as one of the great reforms of the modern world. It should be remembered that this was the so-called “Age of Revolutions,” and Burke had witnessed both the glories of the American Revolution and the hideousness of the French Revolution. Poland’s reforms and constitution, he thought, offered real meaning, much closer to the American experience than the French one.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2020/07/edmund-burke-last-polish-king-bradley-birzer.html
What then does our conservatism mean in 2020? What does it mean as statues tumble, as injustice reigns, and as anger seethes? What does it mean when our leaders seek not the common good, but mob-ish acceptance? What does it mean when our children are indoctrinated with racialism and collectivism rather than individualism and personalism?
At its essence, conservatism has not changed over the years. While the debates may be about a variety of things, the meaning of conservatism lies in understanding that, taken as a whole, our ancestors are not utter fools. The past for the conservative must remain the great laboratory of human experience, human knowledge, and human wisdom. The past is our depository of strength, our trust fund of morality. Now, more than ever, we must preserve what has come before us. Every statue torn down by the violent is a terrorist attack on our very civilization and our very strength as a people. Like the unsung heroes of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451—the men and women who memorize each book burned by its society—we must remember and preserve our statues, our museums, and our cultural storehouses—even if only in our own minds and souls. Like those around the immortal Cato the Younger, we must become living embodiments of the virtues.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2020/07/conserving-2020-499-bradley-birzer.html
Experts on amphibious forces note the PLA already has powerful army units that are trained and equipped to make the kind of landings necessary for an invasion of Taiwan. In expanding the marines, they argue, PLA military planners are looking at operations across the globe, in places where China has extensive offshore investments. These commercial interests are likely to multiply as Beijing presses ahead with its Belt and Road Initiative, an ambitious bid to put China at the center of global trading routes.
— Read on www.reuters.com/article/us-china-military-amphibious-specialrepo-idUSKCN24L17B
My father was educated in Scotland up to age 12 1/2. When my father finished the sixth grade in Scotland in 1927 his mother was told he had only two choices “the Army or the docks.” She was so horrified at this news that she reportedly answered angrily, “Och no, there is a third choice, America!.” So she decided finally to immigrate in October 1927 and they came on the SS Transylvania via Ellis Island. My father said, “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to America and to my angel mother.” Love wins out and endures.
I like to think if Mary Munro were looking down from heaven would see my wife and my daughter and daughter in law and say,:
“Love conquers all. Faith never dies.
One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh; but the earth abideth forever… The sun also ariseth….”
Later, of course, we find the commandment to keep the seventh day holy and free from trials and corruption. As the tablets commanded:
Remember the sabbath day—keep it holy. Six days you may labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God. You shall not do any work, either you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your work animal, or the resident alien within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them; but on the seventh day he rested. That is why the Lord has blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.
Again, my words can add little to this, but it is quite clear that the Sabbath matters, and it matters intensely. In part (only in part, but an essential part, nonetheless), the human person must rest on the seventh day.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2020/07/learning-rest-bradley-birzer.html
Pete Pardo of Sea of Tranquility conducts an in-depth interview of Steve Babb and Fred Schendel, the artists otherwise known as Glass Hammer. While focusing primarily on their newest album, Dreaming City (reviewed on Spirit of Cecilia here), they also cover a wide range of prog-related topics.
Part 1 of the interview:
Part 2 of the interview, in which Steve reveals which GH album is “the Seinfeld of prog rock”:
From the beginning of our existence, we have known that, to the best of our ability, we must try to do both. Our inspiration—and this is not meant to sound pretentious, just honest—came from the two greatest institutions of the Middle Ages, the monastery and the university. The one protected the best behind thick walls and even denser prayer. The other promoted the best through inquiry and scholarship. At the beginning of the Middle Ages, though, the monastery was indispensable to the very survival of classical civilization in the West. As Christopher Dawson explained: “Ninety-nine out of a hundred monasteries could be burnt and the monks killed or driven out, and yet the whole tradition could be reconstituted from the one survivor, and the desolate sites could be re-peopled by fresh supplies of monks who would take up again the broken tradition, following the same rule, singing the same liturgy, reading the same books and thinking the same thoughts as their predecessors.” Those books were everything from Platonic dialogues to Holy Scripture, and every breath of every monk preserved the best of the past for those who would never know them and sadly, almost certainly not praise them for their innumerable sacrifices over a thousand years. Sacrifice there was… in abundance.
— Read on theimaginativeconservative.org/2020/07/the-imaginative-conservative-ten-years-preserving-advancing-bradley-birzer.html