Forget policy: to survive, conservatism must fight for Western civilisation

It is clear that the left is enjoying something of a moment, not just in the UK but across most of the West. It has reduced universities to censorious leftist monocultures, is busy imposing its ever more deranged zombie religion of political correctness in public debate and is so effusively full of confidence in its command of the cultural moment that ‘Acid Corbynism’ has caused quite a stir at this year’s Labour Party conference (fringe). Meanwhile the right-leaning press is full of gloomy arguments discussing the Tories’ oncoming demographic Armageddon and crisis of political confidence.

Mulling this over, it strikes me as strange that conservatives should feel this on the back foot, when there is so much to preserve, so much to care for and pass on to the next generation. The whole of Western civilisation, in fact. Why, then, are conservatives so embarrassed about wishing to conserve?

The doctrine of postmodernism, which advances a wedge of dilettante erudition ahead of its jackhammer of angry philistinism, has used its assault on the concept of canon to leave the best part of three decades’ worth of Western university graduates with barely a piecemeal grasp of their cultural heritage. Even this is filtered for them by their tutors through a lens of guilty identity politics, that reduces everything it touches, no matter how sublime or beautiful, to an ugly scrum for power under ‘cisheteropatriarchy’.

The result is three decades of graduates that simply do not see anything worth conserving. Where conservatism sees our culture as a collective endeavour worth contributing to and continuing, a flame that we all help to carry, the graduates of postmodernism see it as a monolithic engine of marginalisation. A pervasive, miasmic, indestructible force for perpetuating in-groups and injustice, to which the only legitimate reaction is resistance and subversion, and the amplification of voices deemed marginalised. It is in this fundamental perception that much of the ‘snowflake’ stereotype resides, for today’s university students naturally wish to align themselves with the marginalised rather than their imaginary plutocratic oppressors. This leads in turn to the strange phenomenon of Ivy League students, arguably some of the most privileged young people on the planet, throwing public tantrums when their pain and oppression is not validated.

But I digress. My argument is that conservatism’s crisis of confidence lies in the fact that even conservatives have been infected with postmodernism’s anxiety about whether Western civilisation really is worth saving. How could it be otherwise, when we study at the same universities, participate in (to an extent) the same public discourse, live and work with those who would take a hammer to our past? And if it isn’t worth saving, what are are conservatives but a bunch of intransigent junk-hoarders? Or perhaps conservatives just really dig the cisheteropatriarchy? Perhaps they just get off on shitting on marginalised groups and exploiting the poor?

You can see where the current leftist narrative about conservatism originates, and perhaps you begin to see why conservatives struggle to articulate counter-narrative. Because a counter-narrative to this nihilistic, pomo 21st-century mutation of leftism would require saying: I reject your basic premise. Western civilisation is a remarkable collective achievement of some five thousand years and deserves our humble appreciation and positive contribution, not this childish window-smashing. Everything I believe in stems from this premise, while you seem to believe progress can only come about when we tear it all down: the statues, the literature, the music, the architecture, the very notion of high culture itself. And as long as conservatives have even the shadow of a fear that the pomo nihilists might have a point, there is nothing to defend. Nothing to conserve. And if that is true, conservatism really does degrade merely to cheerleading for free-market capitalism or else embittered white nationalism, frothing on Twitter about Islam.

There is something worth conserving. We must say it. Own it. What is Acid Corbynism to the Parthenon, to Rilke, to the sweep of English literature from Beowulf to The Waste Land? To Beethoven’s Ninth? Chartres cathedral? We must fight for our heritage, speak proudly of it, put effort into knowing and sharing it. Don’t let it be destroyed by petty, envious philistinism disguised as radical egalitarianism. In embracing and loving our cultural heritage, and arguing without shame for its continuation, we anchor conservatism in something greater than market capitalism or nativism: in the astonishing sweep of many thousands of years of cultural achievement. A flame worth our helping to carry it on.

MRAs and trans ultras: two cheeks of the same arse

MRA and trans ultras are two cheeks of the same arse. Surely not? One is of the right and the other the left, surely. But look at the similarities.

Both groups are looking for ways to turn identity politics and victim culture to the advantage of white beta males, who feel collectively short-changes by a hierarchy of victimhood that seems to give some measure of coveted victim points to pretty much everyone except them. Both are also looking for ways to legitimise their resentment at women’s unfair exclusion of them from the sex they all imagine other males are having.

The giveaway is the strong smell of embittered sexual entitlement and the apoplectic rage specifically at being excluded *by women* – both MRAs and trans ultras respect and accept the threats of violence with which they are excluded by alpha males.

The difference between the groups is that where MRAs rage at identity politics and victim culture, ranting about the rapist immigrants and feminazis who seem to get preferential treatment from this system, trans ultras seek to appropriate the structures of the victim/identity system to become the most oppressed group ever in the history of oppression and hence claim some victimy goodness for themselves. But both are responding to the same cultural structures (identity politics and ‘intersectionality’ aka victim culture) from the same set of resentments (perceived loss of privilege within the current victim hierarchy, resentment at own sexual inadequacy and lack of sexual access to women). And both groups use very similar rhetorical tactics: trolling, doxxing, if necessary physical violence.

There is a reasonable and legitimate movement to ensure gender nonconforming people are treated well by a society that largely does not understand them. I support this movement.But it has been colonised by a mutant strain of MRA beta-masculinity, that has renamed itself ‘trans-femme’ to avoid confronting its own abjectly low rank within a male-supremacist gender hierarchy that these males have accepted without question.

These people are the Islamists of the trans movement, parasitically inhabiting what would otherwise be a movement of peace and liberation and turning it instead into a war of revenge on every woman who ever looked dismissively at them and moved on.