Politics, Traditionalism

Political Confessions

American Flag Glass1. Introductory Remarks

The past year has been an interesting journey of reflection, study, intellectual and spiritual discomfort, and a diversity of experiences; and when pursuing truth there are times when intellectual investigations run into cultural/social situations which afford a person the opportunity to evaluate specific philosophical positions previously taken for granted. The tumultuous events of the 2016 election cycle, and the election of Donald Trump as the President of the United States, presents us with one of these rare occurrences. For myself, intellectual discomfort usually results in asking important questions and searching out answers for these inquiries. Some questions I found myself examining during the course of the election season concerned issues on free trade, economics, economic methodology, the market mechanism, the legitimacy of democracy, the value of America’s founding documents, whether American exceptionalism is an unconstrained ideology, and much more. To be sure, my metaphysical and ethical commitments have stayed intact, but how these prior philosophical commitments result in understanding the moral and social order in any coherent fashion needed to be reexamined.

In light of this reexamination, the basic framework of Post-WWII conservatism seems to be as secure a foundation as ever, that is, the general Kirkian outline stated in his seminal work, The Conservative Mind, remains entirely relevant:

  1. Belief in a transcendent order, or body of natural law, which rules society as well as conscience.
  2. Affection for the proliferating variety and mystery of human existence, as opposed to the narrowing uniformity, egalitarianism, and utilitarian aims of most radical systems.
  3. Conviction that civilized society requires orders and classes as against the notion of a “classless society.”
  4. Persuasion that freedom and property are closely linked.
  5. Faith in prescription and distrust of “sophisters, calculators, and economists” who would reconstruct society upon abstract designs.
  6. Recognition that change may not be salutary reform: hasty innovation may be devouring conflagration, rather than a torch of progress.

In addition to this general framework of the conservative persuasion, Kirk also provides a brief list of pillars describing the radicalism any informed conservative would oppose:

  1. The perfectibility of man and the illimitable progress of society: meliorism. Radicals believe that education, positive legislation, and alteration of environment can produce men like gods; they deny that humanity has a natural proclivity toward violence and sin.
  2. Contempt for tradition. Reason, impulse, and materialistic determinism are severally preferred as guides to social welfare, trustier than the wisdom of our ancestors. Formal religion is rejected and various ideologies are presented as substitutes.
  3. Political leveling. Order and privilege are condemned; total democracy, as direct as practicable, is the professed radical ideal. Allied with this spirit, generally, is a dislike of old parliamentary arrangements and an eagerness for centralization and consolidation.
  4. Economic leveling. The ancient rights of property, especially property in land, are suspects to almost all radicals; and collectivistic reformers hack at the institution of private property root and branch.

If we were to seriously examine these canons of conservatism and the pillars of radicalism, it would be non-controversial to argue that what Bush I and especially Bush II brought into the GOP was a form of extremism that is alien to the Kirkian conservative worldview. American foreign policy after the Cold War, and especially since 9/11 can most accurately be defined by the radicalism condemned by these conservative principles.[1]

In addition to this, I would strongly contend that any conservatism that is worth taking seriously would reject any and all forms of liberalism. Liberalism, whether classical or progressive, erodes the very fabric of the political and social order because they are structured upon the abstract ideals conservatives reject as viable alternatives for guiding the preservation and flourishing of the civil society. The liberalism developed during the Enlightenment was predicated upon the notion of unshackling oneself from tradition and prescription, hence, Immanuel Kant’s famous dictum, “Dare to reason.” To usher in the new, the old must be cast off and over thrown. Instead of attempting to de-liberalize the Enlightenment, conservatives ought to be the most committed critics of modern philosophy and the modernist mindset structured upon the problematic foundation of liberal autonomy and secular neutrality.

These considerations assist in identifying a fatal flaw embedded within most of the conservative work that has taken place since it became a cultural and political force to be reckoned with. The error that even Russell Kirk was guilty of committing was to try and make conservative that which cannot be made conservative – the American Revolution. It should be painfully obvious that revolutionary movements and conservatism are in opposition to one another according to the descriptions offered above. This is a pernicious error undermining even the most traditionally influenced versions of the American conservative legacy.

American conservatism does not go far enough in its criticism of liberalism and modernity. In attempting to preserve the radicalism of Lockean revolutionaries, conservatives have legitimated the very liberalism they are allegedly at intellectual and spiritual war with; by granting liberalism a seat at the philosophical table conservatives have unwittingly planted the seeds of progressive ideology.

To support this claim, these insightful quotations highlight the internal nature of how liberalism develops over time. John Roa offers this lucid description,

“Liberalism, constructed upon an erroneous faith in the individual’s ability to achieve the good without the assistance of authority, represented the secularization of an atomistic tendency already present in embryo in the sixteenth-century heresiarchs. It treated the human person as though he were a self-sufficient entity, a citadel threatened only by the evil from without. At first, roused by a rapacious bourgeoisie anxious to reduce Church and State restrictions on the growth and use of personal wealth, liberalism sought merely to prohibit authority over economic matters. Soon, however, more advanced brethren objected not simply to the object of authority’s exercise, but to authority in itself, at least when wielded by men other than those freely admitted by the autonomous individual. Still more progressive liberals began to include among authorities to be tamed the leaders of subsidiary corporate entities, and even fathers and families. Finally, certain spirits, the most radical of all, could not bring themselves, out of misconstrued love for the individual, to endure the impudence of what were but intellectual and internal authorities: Away with the tyrannies of standards of beauty, of conceptual truths, of the structure of logic and linguistic forms!”[2]

Thomas Storck’s essay, Liberalism’s Three Assaults, provides further insight,

“At the outset, let me roughly define liberalism, providing a definition that we shall clarify as we go along. A good working definition might be as follows: liberalism is that general movement in Western civilization that has sought freedom from the restrains imposed by Christian teaching and that has therefore attacked Catholic culture, first on the level of Christian economic morality, secondly on the level of the political rights of God, and lastly on the level of the human person itself. Corresponding to these three intellectual assaults have been (first) the overthrow of the guilds and the establishment of capitalism; (secondly) the overthrow of traditional Catholic regimes; and (thirdly) the assault on humanity through such things as divorce, contraception, abortion, euthanasia, and even the natural and complementary division of mankind into two sexes. Liberalism is responsible for the modern world and its pervasive secularism and is perhaps Satan’s greatest success since the tempting of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.”[3]

As these paragraphs indicate, once the structures of proper authority are subject to eradication and subsequent redefinition, there is no way to prevent slipping down the slope to nihilistic autonomy. Offshoots of the classical conservative persuasion, that is, libertarianism and movement conservatism, are of no help. For they too participate on the same spectrum of liberalism. There is nothing prudent in repeating the errors that lead to the very statist monster that is supposedly being combatted in the name of liberty. The myths of moral and religious neutrality are not going to defeat the deep state bureaucracy whose very existence depends upon these fallacious and illusory claims of neutrality.

To be blunt, no modern political movement is capable of changing our culture and society for the better. American conservatism is dead and has been for a long time. For conservatism to become a viable movement it had to become an ideology, and once an ideology it destroyed itself from within, morphing into nothing more than a nuanced version of the neo-Jacobinism of the progressive left.

Libertarianism, on the other hand, is as fantastical as it is incoherent. It seeks economic order while spurning legal order; proclaims spontaneous order while denying the necessary cultural foundations for such “spontaneity” to become meaningful; preaches morality while simultaneously rejecting the duties of morality. Contemporary libertarian thought is little brother to the progressive left. The moral and metaphysical foundations, whether examined or unexamined, are mirror images of the same errors.

Conservatism, libertarianism, and progressivism are competing varieties of the same liberal ideology.

There is but one political persuasion up to the challenge of moving our culture toward the realm of moral sanity, and that is traditionalism.

Traditionalism is motived by one task, and that is the reestablishment of Christendom on earth. This means, then, that the political nature of the Great Commission is recognized rather than suppressed. To baptize the nations means to change the nations, and to change the nations their political and economic institutions must be informed by the Gospel. The fundamental pillars of traditionalist political thought are the absolute primacy of Christ, the social Kingship of Christ, and the social doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church.

In addition to this, the traditionalist is deeply skeptical of the alleged virtues of globalism. There is absolutely no reason to believe that the global “community” is more important than that of the local communities of family, town, county, state, and nation. And yet, according to many in the mainstream intelligentsia, caring about my family and countrymen is some how a vice when compared to the importance of global affairs. The traditionalist will strongly disagree with this destructive mindset.

When examining history, the traditionalist will scrutinize events through the lens of the Gospel. We have been fed a litany of ideological constructs to spiritually counteract the revealed truths delivered by the Triune God to the Apostolic Church. The evidence necessary to make such a conclusion can be discovered by simply comparing the social teachings of the Church with those of Western liberalism.

There can be no reconciliation of these two competing ways of looking at the world.

This leads me to sharing with the reader my political confessions. What follows is an attempt to share my journey.

2. Progressivism to Neoconservatism

As a young college student I absorbed my political commitments through the relentless proselytization of secular progressive values. The systematic presentation of moral relativism, metaphysically subjective idealism, mechanistic materialism, socialism, soft Marxism to hard Marxism, atheism, sexual libertinism, and critical race theory were too much for me to overcome. Every class I took, at least those in the humanities, was a ritualistic bombardment of these views with no alternatives presented without the transparent elitist contempt for competing ways of looking at the world. I didn’t reason my way into this worldview, it was a given. And it was a given according to secular cultural mandate. These were the categories in which a rational person is allowed to think about the world.

I must admit, however, that despite the overwhelming imbalance of progressivism in the material assigned, I did not succumb to the entirety of this worldview. The one area I was able to maintain my sanity was in the controversial topic of abortion. I have never been convinced by any argument that a woman has an unfettered moral claim to terminate a pregnancy, let alone a constitutional right under the invented penumbra of privacy. I must also admit that back then, I would not have been able to understand much of what I described above as a part of the secular progressive worldview. I was merely soaking in what had been institutionalized in the curriculum.

When I left college I was more or less a secular progressive liberal and a practical atheist, but since I had not focused much of my attention on the material during the indoctrination process, the message failed to entirely sink into the core of my being.

Despite having a worldview categorized by entrenched modernist liberal presuppositions, I was intellectually and spiritually unsatisfied. I had no answers to the deep existential questions of life. I had no purpose, no idea what the purpose of life was, no idea what a good life looked like, no idea what would happen to me when I died, if I had a soul or not etc. I simply did not have a clue on how to answer these vitally important questions that every human person faces, and this left me with a massive void in the depths of my being. These questions were eventually filled by the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ, and completed in my conversion to Catholic Christianity.

Although the existential questions had been answered in a more satisfactory way given my turn towards Christianity, the practical question of how to organize society was still left open for investigation. My turn toward Christianity is essentially how I transitioned from progressivism in my politics to a not-so-critically examined brand of neoconservatism. This period of spiritual and intellectual modification in my thinking was taking place during the initial phases of the war in Iraq, which is why neoconservatism was my transitioning political philosophy. Conservatism was appealing to me because it seemed to cohere in a seamless way with my newly discovered metaphysical and ethical beliefs. Traditionally, conservative thought references metaphysical realism as the original foundation for a well-organized society. In addition to this, moral realism, or objective moral duties and values, can be discovered because the intellect possesses the power to recognize a telos in nature, and therefore the human person as well. What follows then, is a political philosophy that is ordered toward protecting and guiding the good life among citizens. The neoconservatism I had encountered contained these seeds of traditional conservative thought, and in a time of war neoconservatives provided the moral clarity (or so I thought) that progressivism is eminently deficient in, nor has ever attempted to articulate. To be sure, the neoconservatism I had initially adopted was just as problematic as the progressivism I had left, but I was simply unaware of the important connections that still needed to be made in this intellectual endeavor.

3. Neoconservatism to Libertarianism

Given my adherence to neoconservatism and support of the Iraq War, I joined the Army in 2007. No significant changes in my political thought took place during the first few years in active duty military. I was a supporter of Senator McCain for President, and I had thought Senator Obama’s desire to pull out of Iraq was a disastrous policy proposal. All of this changed, however, when I decided to read Ron Paul’s book, The Revolution: A Manifesto. It would be dishonest to say that I wasn’t excited about what I had read. The arguments presented in this little book seemed very simple, and yet quite profound. This was the initial step in transitioning from neoconservatism (which I admit I had not examined in a critical manner) to libertarianism and Austrian economics. I read Ron Paul while I was deployed to Iraq, and I continued to read a lot of libertarian literature throughout the deployment. By the time the deployment was over I was a committed libertarian and loyal supporter of Ron Paul.

Following my tenure in active duty military I returned to my home state of MN and began to be more politically active. During the 2012 presidential primary, I contributed to the “libertarian takeover” of the republican state convention. We organized and successfully nominated libertarian republican Kurt Bills to take on Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Ron Paul over Mitt Romney for the presidential ballot. On the day of the presidential election, I wrote in Ron Paul’s name. At the time, Mitt Romney was a representation of the neoconservatism I had left behind. Although my political affiliation has moved away from libertarianism, I would most likely not have voted for Romney if I had another chance, and for the same reason.

After President Obama won his second term, I went back to studying libertarian political philosophy and Austrian economics. It wasn’t long before I began to grow unsatisfied with the Austro-libertarian political and economic outlook. The simplicity of these positions had once been a strong point, but the strength of simplicity began to wane. The world seemed much too complicated for the mantras, “Let the market handle it,” or “We should just mind our own business,” or “Why don’t we just give liberty a try?” or “Just follow the Constitution” etc. In addition to these somewhat naïve platitudes, I found the vitriolic nastiness toward those considered to be political rivals quite depressing. Any deviation from the above talking points among other libertarians resulted in the quick denunciations of “statist,” “neocon,” “flag worshiper,” and other colorful remarks. I also discovered that to be a good and obedient Austro-libertarian one must unequivocally denounce any person deemed unworthy of the this mantle. Philosophical nuance is unacceptable when an unflinching loyalty to the Rothbardian cult of personality is at stake. The term “neocon” is a spiteful pejorative that must be avoided at all costs or your purity will be questioned, and there is nothing worse among “liberty minded” folks than being identified as an impure libertarian. Deviation from anarcho-capitalism is viewed as an act of violent intellectual aggression against the ill-conceived NAP.

These dubious opinions did not sit well with me, so I decided to once again investigate the relevant issues. It did not take long for me to realize just how dishonest various assessments were with regard to any figure that fell into the category of derision among the new libertarians. There is a clear agenda in the thinking of these individuals, and objective, honest analysis is not part of it. What is clear, however, is the commitment to Rothbardian anarcho-capitalism. This is the philosophical and economic lens to which all worthy libertarians must abide. Indeed, anarcho-capitalism is considered to be an infallible deposit of political and economic faith to which deviations are considered heresies against freedom.

In my view, the secular progressive liberal is trapped within an unsolvable philosophical maze with numerous irreconcilable difficulties. What progressives lack in ability to reason out of these complications, they make up for in a passionate disregard for reality. Utopianism is ultimately bad for the brain. Unconstrained abstraction leads to magnificent moral, metaphysical, and spiritual hypocrisy resulting in the reduction of a worldview to mere sophistry. Another group of sophists that I would add to this category of the perpetually confused are the Rothbardians. While progressives believe that a fully centralized government can, “immanentize the eschaton,” Rothbardians believe that anarchy will result in an immanentized economic Garden of Eden (or maybe a better comparison would be Galt’s Gulch). I suppose I am being a bit unfair, since the type of anarchy they would prefer is not the kind we read about when the lawless reign of terror took place during the French Revolution. The Rothbardian messenger advocates on behalf of a special and specific kind of anarchy, an anarchy that is fundamentally capitalist in nature. Why this kind of anarchy is better than others, or how an economic system can exist without coherent legal and moral institutions is eminently mysterious. I had already once been a member of one political ideology in progressivism that substantially misunderstands reality. I began to see the same errors among the libertarians I had been associating with. Instead of wasting my time attempting to solve the numerous disagreements between the varieties of Utopianism, and argue over a version of reality that would never become actualized, I chose once again to rediscover the truths I had lost in the political realm of my thought.

This brings me to my brief rediscovery of conservatism. Over the span of about 10 years, I had moved from progressive liberalism to an inadequately examined neoconservatism; from neoconservatism to libertarianism; and finally from libertarianism back to conservatism. As I slowly reverted back to conservatism, I was also moving closer to crossing the Tiber. This joint process in my intellectual investigations allowed me to avoid repeating the philosophical pitfalls I had already experienced. As I was rediscovering the history of American conservatism, and moving back towards adopting “neoconservatism,” the Catholic traditionalist movement became an important corrective to what may have ended up being a misguided return to a mythically informed, and myopic ideology.

What prevented me from entering back into a full-throated commitment to conservatism was my interaction with traditionalist Catholic literature on the topics of political theology, philosophy, and economics. When I encountered the pre-Conciliar encyclicals of Pope Leo XIII, Pope Pius IX, Pope Saint Pius X, Pope Pius XI, and Pope Pius XII, I realized that conservatism was not a solution for the cultural and societal upheaval America is now facing. Inherent to American conservatism is the combination of Protestant Christianity and Enlightenment rationalism joining forces to form a kind of secular theistic rationalism deeply influenced by the spirit of anti-Catholic Puritanism. Conservatives looking to “get back to the principles of the founding fathers” are not going to do anything other than perpetuate the problems that have developed into progressive ideology.

4. Further Points to Consider and Closing Remarks

In summation, I consider libertarianism to be a deeply flawed political philosophy. Where libertarianism fails most completely is the blind spot to the importance of the preservation of culture, their odd commitment to moral relativism, and foreign policy naiveté. It is ultimately an incoherent political philosophy that misidentifies the proper categories of justice as sources of tyranny.

An example of such a misidentification would most properly be identified in the realm of political economy. When debating the morality of various political economic structures and the necessary institutions for the preservation of said structures, there seems to be a problematic trend in the thought of those libertarian arguments in favor of an unregulated market. A primary pillar in this school of thought is that the market is amoral, and the activities within the market are guided by pure rationality, preference satisfaction concerning the exchange of goods, and price as the arbiter of the distribution of economic knowledge. Moral claims concerning actions within the market are either pushed to the peripheries of consideration or reduced to mere contractual engagement and consent. What becomes morally problematic for the libertarian is when this amoral market is interfered with on the basis of a moral claim, such as just equity of distribution or the potential to reduce exploitative practices. When such moral suggestions are made in the name of social justice, the amoral market mechanism seems to shift into a realm of clearly identifiable moral realities underpinning the interaction of human persons in areas of marketable commerce.

In my view, this is where the arguments of libertarians become problematic. On the one hand they do economic thinking as if the market exists within a moral vacuum, and on the other hand, when combatting claims made by those who disagree with liberal economic theory, the market becomes imbued with objectively identifiable moral claims that are mostly associated with specific moral values already presumed to be true according to libertarian presuppositions. This is a philosophical disconnect that results in a difficulty of argumentative engagement.

If/when an economic theory informed by different moral principles is offered against libertarian economic theory; the former is most likely accused of not knowing anything about economics. If a moral critique is offered against liberalism, the counterargument most likely employs strict moral claims against said critic which were previously ignored, yet entirely present, in the model as such. This is one example of what seems to be a difficulty that libertarians cannot reconcile. The political economy is informed by the amoral economic models, while simaltaneously expresses the morality of libertarian political theory.

Secular progressive ideology is a pernicious error that needs to be exposed and defeated. The progressive ideology is trapped within an incorrect dualistic structure of moral claims due to their amoral “private realm” of reality and the highly moral “public realm” of the economic order. According to the progressive liberal, there ought to be no moral constraints placed upon individuals acting in various ways within the private realm of our communal order. To publicly infringe upon private morality is itself a grave evil according to this position. It does not matter what activities take place within the confidentiality of one’s own home just as long as consent is present, nobody gets hurt, and the rights of others are not violated. On the other end of the spectrum, however, the progressive liberal becomes an almost hyper-Kantian deontologist in the public realm of the political economy. In this area of the social order there are strict, unbreakable, and perspicuous codes of conduct that carry with them the very essence of justice itself. These codes must be protected at all costs, no matter the results. “Let justice be done though the heavens fall” is the rally cry of the progressive in the economic arena.

There is at least one major problem with this particular set of dualisms. Public morality begins in the private realm previously protected against such strict moral expectations. It is extremely naïve to think that a person can be a moral degenerate within the seclusion of their own home but a morally upright citizen when they step foot in the public realm. One cannot be a moral relativist when participating in the “private realm” of society and a duty-first realist in the “public realm.” Not only is it philosophically incoherent, it is anthropologically impossible.

The good person in pursuit of virtue, guided by their duty to God, King, and Country, will not violate their own conscience when the opportunity arises. To be good doesn’t mean to be good some of the time. It means to strive for perfection no matter the context a person is participating.

Another thing to consider is that private companies are much like the privacy of the home. This is problematic for the progressive view because private businesses are a derivative of the concealment of the home life. Who is the progressive to project their expectations on private business owners when they are living according to their own chosen values and running their organization as they see fit? To be consistent, the moral relativism of the progressive must apply to private businesses as well, and many of their social justice claims need not apply.

This is not to endorse this view of the moral order. I am simply pointing out what a consistent application of such claims would look like in reality. I contend that the divine and natural law makes no distinction between the secular modernist notion of private and public morality, and that moral truth applies no matter where a man happens to be standing at a given moment. Progressivism simply cannot reconcile this duality, which is why activism replaces well-reasoned cogency.

In conservatism you will find a political philosophy that is not necessarily fighting progressive ideology, but rather, merely trading the area in which secular moral categories will be applied in the civil society. For example, the progressive will ignore the divine and natural law in the area of “consensual” sexual interaction, choosing instead a Godless moral relativism that the ruling authorities are not allowed to intervene otherwise “tyranny” might ensue. The conservative, on the other hand, will arbitrarily appeal to the natural law in the sexual realm of human interaction, but simultaneously become Godless moral relativists by ignoring the divine and natural law in the realm of political economy, to which any interference from the ruling authorities becomes the tyranny of “central planning,” “socialism,” or “economic statism.” It is the same political story, just a different application of where the moral law becomes a servant to their chosen ideology. Rather than a guiding pillar of truth, moral considerations are utilized to lend a hand in the pursuit of wielding the levers of power.

In addition to these philosophical problems with the ideological monster of movement conservatism, there are practical difficulties that should be considered as well. These difficulties exist within the formation of influential conservative publications following WWII,

“Like the Whigs of the early and mid 18th century, the American conservatives of the mid 20th century had a penchant for black operations. In 1955, two years after Irving Kristol become co-editor of Encounter, Buckley launched National Review, “which soon became a rallying point for the new conservatism.” Years later, Revilo Oliver, who was an early contributor to NR, would claim that it, like Encounter, was a CIA front. Murray Rothbard, the irrepressible libertarian who grew up among the Messianic Jewish sects of New York City, also felt NR was a CIA front.”[4]

These CIA fronts had a specific purpose for movement conservatism,

“If National Review, like Encounter, was a CIA front, what purpose did it serve? National Review existed to destroy competing conservatisms, especially those incompatible with the internationalist foreign policy establishment. National Review used conservatism to mobilize certain ethnic groups, e.g., Catholics, behind government policies. It existed to colonize certain groups, to divide and conquer, and then get them to act against their own interests. NR was created to destroy isolationist conservatism. Conservatives who criticized America’s march to empire were demonized and decertified. National Review has shown undeviating consistency in this regard, the most recent example being David Frum’s diatribe against the paleoconservatives, ‘Unpatriotic Conservatives,’ in the March 19, 2003 issue. According to Rothbard, ‘the idea for National Review originated with Willi Schlamm, a hard-line interventionist and feature editor with the Old Right Freeman,’ who was ‘at odds with the isolationism of the right.’ Friend of the Buckley family Revilo Oliver said NR ‘was conceived as a way to put the isolationist Freeman out of business. A surreptitious deal was cut with one of the Freeman editors (presumably Schlamm) to turn the magazine over to Buckley.’”[5]

Movement conservatism popularized by William F. Buckley was a front to delegitimize competing alternatives running contrary to the internationalist views embedded in post-WWII approaches to foreign policy.

To briefly qualify these disapprovals of contemporary movement conservatism, it must be stated that the committed traditionalist can learn much from various selections of conservative literature. The writing of Russell Kirk, Richard Weaver, Robert Nisbet, Michael Oakeshott, Roger Scruton, and many others are as valuable as they are important. Roger Scruton’s, The Meaning of Conservatism, and much of his other writing too, should be read and studied by every traditionalist. His political philosophy has informed my views in significant ways. The basic point, however, is that the traditionalist ought to recognize that the basic roots of our political persuasion are grounded in the social doctrines of the Church derived from the theological commitment to the social Kingship of Christ. This Christo-centric, theologically informed social theory is where we start. Conservative political philosophy may at times lend support to and strengthen arguments to this theological end, therefore, conservative literature deserves its due attention. 

Catholic traditionalism, when compared to competing secular alternatives, is not so arbitrary in its application of the moral law in culture and the civil society. On the traditionalist view of politics and economics, culture is the soil to which these institutions organically develop. This means that the divine and moral law cannot be separated, or strictly demarcated from the development of political and economic institutions whose purpose is to guard truth, beauty, and goodness. These three transcendental attributes of our shared reality are the foundation of any coherent understanding of justice. To ignore them is to embark on a path of cultural and social ruin.

And while this may make the modernist react in howling protest, the traditionalist must reconcile the social order to the Kingship of Christ recognized in the proclamation of the Great Commission. If all authority has been given to the conquering, resurrected, and ascended Christ, then every ruling authority has a duty to swear an allegiance to Christ their King.

 

– Lucas G. Westman


[1] If one were so inclined, it could be argued that President Reagan was just as radical as the Bush presidencies, and that our entire foreign policy following WWII was largely one mistake after another.

[2] Taken from Thomas Storck’s book, From Christendom, to Americanism, and Beyond, Pg. 22

[3] Ibid, Pg. 23

[4] The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit, Jones, Pg. 845

[5] Ibid, Pg. 846

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