Friday, January 14, 2022
The postliberal project seeks to rebut all of this. Partly, it’s a quest to rehabilitate nationalism from its WWII associations: As Hazony’s Burke Foundation colleague Anna Wellisz told me, true nationalism doesn’t belong to Hitler’s Germany or Stalin’s Russia—more rightly seen as imperialist—but to countries like Wellisz’s native Poland, which resisted them. In this view, nationalism isn’t about exclusion so much as “being free to love what is yours.” By contrast, many of those gathered at NatCon see today’s imperialists as liberals—small-l and big-L alike—who deploy corporate power and international compacts to promote a global cultural and legal order that punishes those who don’t toe the line. Conservative postliberals also charge that the concept of public neutrality doesn’t lead to fairness but rather to oppression of the majority, and an inevitable slide into “Marxist cultural revolution.” It follows that if governments are never actually neutral but always either advancing or undermining the public good, the law should use its coercive power to instill virtue. That’s the gist of “integralism,” a conservative Catholic legal movement advanced by many prominent postliberals, which opposes church-state separation and the prioritization of individual rights in favor of a system ordered to uphold “the common good.”
Yeah, I don't think I'm on board with the whole NatCon agenda, especially not Monsignor Vermeule's (yes, that's mockery -- sorry. He blocked me on twitter, with many others) medieval fantasy version. I might really rather enjoy living in a Catholic Disneyland, but I'm open minded enough to realize that lots of people would not. And I know I would find it highly annoying if anyone besides my spiritual advisor (the job's open BTW -- inquire at tacsmith at gmail dot com) asked whether I had been to Mass last Sunday and when last I went to Confession. That's why I think if you're going to set up a truly illiberal regime, you had better allow for people to get the heck outta Dodge, with their property. I get the feeling the NatCon people, or some of them, would not be ok with folks just picking up and leaving, which makes them in my book no better than the East Germans, the USSR and the PRC. My current favorite country is Lichtenstein, a small country, but rich and very well run. Yes, they have a king, but one with, as far as I can tell, many fewer powers than our own elected monarch, and the people who live there, more rights. The UK system seems to work sorta ok-ish, at least from a distance. Alas, I seem to have many heretical opinions, which is why I'm glad that they are constitutionally protected, in spite of the efforts of a certain formerly cute university. Why can't we all just get along?