IN his Clash of Civilizations Samuel Huntington argues that the world, following the centuries of western hegemony, is now divided along civilizational lines. So if you are a politician in Singapore or China, you extol the obvious superiority of Confucianism, and if you are a political leader in a Muslim country you extol the obvious truth of Islam and the Prophet, peace be upon him.
Huntington believes that the ideological age, in which half the world was run on socialist ideas, is over, and that we are reverting to a religious age, with cultural rather than ideological cues. International and intranational conflict, he writes, now occurs along civilizational -- actually religious -- fault lines, not ideological fault lines, as during the Cold War.
Except that the ideological fault lines were religious, if we accept that socialism/communism/progressivism is a secular religion.
On this view, the leaders of the West should be extolling the virtues of Christianity, as the rest of the world extols their Axial Age religions; only they are not. In fact, the West is divided between a nominally Christian capitalist side and a progressive/secular religious side.
The interesting thing is that the progressives use not their religion, but tribal cues, to rally their voters. Thus they have spent the last 50 years raising racial and sexual consciousness among women and minorities. This is palpable in the current 2016 election cycle as Democrats rally women against the sexual harasser Donald Trump and blacks against the police with Black Lives Matter.
Notice that our Democratic friends are not raising issues; they are raising race and gender identity. Now, nominally, this race and gender politics proposes the white male as an "other." But really, behind the screen, they are attacking our Christian, capitalist, limited government culture.
Against this progressive push, Donald Trump openly wraps himself in the flag and the nation. Although, of course, his core voters that show up at his rallies are overwhelmingly white and ordinary middle-class.
If Trump were the racist, sexist that our Democratic friends want him to be then he should be openly making a racist, sexist pitch for his Trumpster votes just as Democrats are unashamed as making a sexist pitch for "nasty women" and a racist pitch by endorsing the racist Black Lives Matter.
But here is the thing. If Huntington is right, and the coming fault lines across the world are going to be religious, then the divided West better get its act together. Because in any conflict the side that is united has a huge advantage over the side that is divided.
To raise the question is to answer it. Right now, native Westerners across the West are starting to rise up against their globalist rulers, and they are doing it over the question of religion. People in the west are clearly stating that they do not want a Muslim minority in the West that achieves strategic concentration.
As this Muslim issue develops it will put pressure on the western women who are clutching their pearls this season over Donald Trump's locker-room talk. And the Muslim issue will put pressure on African Americans that are more worried about police shootings than about the cultural collapse in the black majority inner cities and the threat that rising Hispanic and Muslim numbers represent to their special status as liberals' favorite victims.
For years I have worried about how conservatives can possibly push back against liberal identity politics -- i.e. sub-national tribalism -- because how can you do the politics of division when your basic line is that Americans are the best people in the world and America is the best country in the world? Where is the encouragement for rage and coming out to vote out the corrupt rascals?
The basic thrust of Huntington's Clash of Civilizations argument is that wars on the fault lines between civilizations force secondary actors to decide which side they are on, and usually they side with their co-religionists. So you can see that as the fault lines develop in the coming years, they are going to force the West to decide which side it is on, and the current divide between Christian capitalists and progressive identity believers will have to be resolved one way or another.
But there is another question, that Huntington doesn't address. He talks about fully westernized politicians like Lee Kuan Yew putting on the armor of Confucianism when running for office in Singapore. But was that just a blind?
Put it this way. How much of the western cultural agenda is optional if you want to be a leading civilization that can carry a big stick in the world and win fault-line wars? Capitalism? Limited government? Democracy? Rule of Law? Christianity? Tolerance? Science? Free speech? You tell me.
RADICAL leftist Tom Hayden, founder of the Students for a Democratic Society and author of the Port Huron Statement, is dead. The New York Times obituary shows what a great gig being a lefty radical was in our times. Given that Hayden was, at least in his early years, a revolutionary, he got pretty gentle treatment from the ruling class. Which, I suppose, goes to show that Tom Hayden was never...
OVER at Vox Popoli, I am reading about Infogalactic, which is Vox Day calls the Big Fork of Wikipedia. The idea is to take all Wikipedia content and then remove the influence of the 500 gatekeepers that make sure that, e.g. the notion of "cultural Marxism" is merely a right-wing conspiracy theory. (Really, go read the Frankfurt School at La Wik.) The Big Fork seems like a ludicrous notion. ...
IN my reductive Three Peoples theory I propose that three kinds of people live in the modern world. There are the People of the Subordinate Self, workers and peasants who are clients to some great lord. There are People of the Responsible Self, citizens that work in the city as responsible individuals. And then there are People of the Creative Self, that believe life should be more than just ...
WE won't be posting to this blog any more.
Go to an American Manifesto instead.
HOW do we deal with the meme that sank Mitt Romney, the idea that he was an unfeeling rich man that didn't care about "people like me." Mona Charen makes the point directly. Many Republicans now recognize that they must propose reforms that speak to middle- and working-class voters, and shed their image as the party of the rich. But what is it that makes the Republican Party the "party of the ...
MANY conservatives are puzzling over why, just why, the Obama administration would get itself into such a mess over the Bergdahl prisoner exchange. How could anyone treat Bergdahl's likely desertion as just a matter of missing a class on Monday? The answer is simple. It is honor. Lefties don't understand honor, male or female. And especially they don't understand military honor. The whole ...
YOUNG Voices Associate Cathy Reisenwitz has taken a look at the new ideas in YGNetwork's "Room to Grow" proposals, and wonders what's the point. Forget the "new" ideas. How about some good "old" ideas? Here’s a old/new idea: get government out of the way. cut off the spigot. end the subsidies. cut the regulations. help the middle class by allowing the market to work for them. Cathy quotes ...
EVERY time we hear of a new incident of Obama administration lawlessness, we have to wonder. Do liberals really not see this as a problem? We know what is going on. The news media and the cultural czars reckon that Obama and the liberal activists and the Democratic Party have their heart in the right place and so the corner-cutting on Obamacare, the bogus wait-list scam at the VA, the ...
Download latest e-book draft here.
A New Manifesto
A spectre is haunting the liberal elitethe spectre of conservatism.
The Crisis of the Administrative State
It wasnt supposed to be like this.
Government and the Technology of Power
If you scratch a social reformer, you will likely discover a plan for more government.
Business, Slavery, and Trust
Business is all about trust and relationship.
Humanity's Big Problem: Freebooters and Freeloaders
The modern welfare state encourages freeloaders.
The Bonds of Faith
No society known to anthropology or history lacked religion.
A Critique of Social Mechanics
The problem with human society reduced to system.
The Paradox of Individualism
Is individualism the gospel of selfishness or something else?
From Multitude to Civil Society
The larger the government, the smaller the society.
The Answer is Civil Society
In between the separated powers.
The Greater Separation of Powers
If you want to limit power then you must limit power.
Conservatism Three by Three
Conservatism, political, economics, and cultural.
The Culture of Involvement
Imagining lives without the welfare state
The Poor Without the Welfare State
Can the poor thrive without the welfare state?
The Middle Class Without The Welfare State
How would the middle class live without all those middle-class entitlements?
Liberals and the Welfare State
Liberals, the ruling class of the administrative welfare state.
From Freeloaders to Free Givers
The path to the future lies through moral movements.
The Real Meaning of Society
Broadening the horizon of cooperation in the last best hope of man on earth.
Andrew Coulson, Market Education
How universal literacy was achieved before government education
Carl Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic
How we got our education system
James Tooley, The Miseducation of Women
How the feminists wrecked education for boys and for girls
James Tooley, Reclaiming Education
How only a market in education will provide opportunity for the poor
E.G. West, Education and the State
How education was doing fine before the government muscled in
Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital
How ordinary people in the United States wrote the law during the 19th century
F. A. Hayek, Law Legislation and Liberty, Vol 1
How to build a society based upon law
Henry Maine, Ancient Law
How the movement of progressive peoples is from status to contract
John Zane, The Story of Law
How law developed from early times down to the present
James Bartholomew, The Welfare State We're In
How the welfare state makes crime, education, families, and health care worse.
David Beito, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State
How ordinary people built a sturdy social safety net in the 19th century
David Green, Before Beveridge: Welfare Before the Welfare State
How ordinary people built themselves a sturdy safety net before the welfare state
Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy
How the US used to thrive under membership associations and could do again
David Stevenson, The Origins of Freemasonry
How modern freemasonry got started in Scotland
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
How Christianity is booming in China
Finke & Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
How the United States grew into a religious nation
Robert William Fogel, The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism
How progressives must act fast if they want to save the welfare state
David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish
How Pentecostalism is spreading across the world
After a year of President Obama most Americans understand that the nation is on the wrong track. But how do we find the right track? Americans knew thirty years ago that liberalism was a busted flush. Yet Reaganism and Bushism seemed to be less than the best answer.
But where can we turn? Where are the thinkers and activists of the old days? Where do we find the best ideas? And how do we persuade our present ruling class to loosen its grip on power so that we can move the locomotive of state back onto the right track?
With all of our problems it seems like the worst of times.
In fact, this is the best of times. Under the radar a generation of great thinkers have been figuring out what went wrong and conjuring up visions of a better future. This book, "An American Manifesto: Life After Liberalism" is an introduction to their ideas, and to the great future that awaits an America willing to respond to their call.
Although this book is addressed to all Americans, conservative, moderate, and liberal, and looks to a nation that transcends our present partisan divide, I must tell you that liberals will have the most difficulty with the book. The reason is simple. I am asking liberals to give up a lot of the power they have amassed in the last century. But we are all Americans, and we must all give up something for the sake of the greater good.
I am Christopher Chantrill and I am writing this book in full view. I'll be blogging on the process and the ideas, and I'll be asking you, dear readers, to help. Read the blog. Read the articles as they come out on American Thinker and ponder over the draft chapters here on this site.
Then send me your reactions, your thoughts, and your comments. You will help more than you know.
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism