Saturday, June 7, 2008

Unqualified Reservations

I am currently plundered Unqualified Reservations. Mencius Moldbug is a Jewish reactionary Jacobite. (And here I thought I was the only one.) He delves far into the philosophical origins of the modern world, much further than the Frankfort School.

Further, he understands things that a great many traditionalists and paleoconservatives cannot seem to grasp, why today's conservative parties (i.e. the American Republicans) are unable to do more than slow down the avalanche into progressivism.

I can no longer say that I am a Republican, with a capital or a small R. I still vote for them because they are the lesser evil. I do not agree with the assessment of some paleoconservatives that Republican politicians or pundits are corrupt "sellouts". Their hearts are in the right place, for the most part. They cannot restore sane laws or mores because the rot has gone so deep in society. We would be foolish to look to politicians for our salvation. They are merely our tools, and do our bidding. The trouble is what we bid them to do. Below, M.M. illustrates why:

A reset is not a revolution

There is an immediate problem with this: as we've seen, modern "democracies" do not allow politicians to formulate policy. It is a violation of their unwritten constitutions, and an unwritten constitution is just as hard to violate as a written one. Therefore, even when the Outer Party manages to win the election and gain "power," what they find in their hands is more or less the same sort of "power" that the Queen of England has.

My stepfather, a mid-level Washington insider who spent twenty years working as a staffer for Democratic senators, caviled vigorously at the idea that the Democrats are the "Inner Party" and Republicans are the "Outer Party." He pointed out that between 2000 and 2006, the Republicans held the Presidency and both houses of Congress.

I pointed out that he was actually underplaying his hand. During this period, Republican nominees also held a majority on the Supreme Court. By the eleventh-grade civics-class "separation of powers" theory, this would have given the Grand Old Party complete domination over North America. Without breaking a single law, they could have: liquidated the State Department and transferred sole foreign-policy responsibility to the Pentagon, packed the Supreme Court with televangelists, required that all universities receiving Federal funds balance their appointments between pro-choice and pro-life professors, terminated all research in the areas of global warming, evolution and sexual lubricants, etc, etc, etc....

Why did the Republicans not use their formal control over the mechanisms of Washington to cement real control, as the Democrats did in 1933? There are many specific answers to this question, but the basic answer is that they never had real power. In theory, the Queen has just the same power over the UK, and if she tried to use it all that would happen is that she would lose it. Exactly the same is true of our own dear Outer Party, on whatever occasion it should next get into office. It may get into office again. It will never get into power. (Although it retains the power to fill many juicy sinecures.)

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