The Mob Takes Its Turn Again

A number of years ago I read Ann Coulter’s “Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America.” Aside from her scorched earth model of doing politics, it is an extended reflection on the French Revolution in contrast to the American Revolution.

Our constitutional system intentionality attempted to tamp down the power of the mob. Furthering tampering with the constitution has enabled the power of the mob, including the election of Senators by the ballot rather than by appointment by State legislators. Now there is a move to erase the Electoral College.

We know though history where pure democracy goes – anarchy, oppression, and the guillotine. France never recovered from her dalliance with the mob. It led to Napoleon, the virtual death of the church as a civil institution, hyper skepticism, and radical politics that disabled it from the strength necessary to protect it from Germany in two world wars.

Now it is America’s turn to once again choose what kind of revolution it wants. We are in the midst of seeing the power of the mob and the move to make American ungovernable. It will either lead to a clamp down by authoritarian government or a complete breakdown of public institutions. The only way to escape these two paths is to push back against the mob and restore our three branches of government to their rightful place as standing between the people and those who rule the people.

Unfortunately our three branches of government are caving in to the power of the mob to firm up their base of power. The irrationality of the mob is being witnessed again and again – on the university campus, in the press’s move toward pure political activism, the rise of demagoguery, and the pure instinct for revenge set loose in our government.

We had better get this under control or much of what we have struggled for will be lost. Conservatism of the Edmund Burke kind is the answer. One would do well to read his books and those that restate his key thoughts, including Russell Kirk’s and Michael Novak’s works. On the web check in with The Imaginative Conservative, both the website and Facebook.

Medievalist Roman Catholics And Enlightenment Evangelical Protestants Are Co-Belligerents But Different At The Core

There is a strain of medievalism within conservatism, at least that part spawned by Michael Novak, Russell Kirk, William Buckley. These were all early lights in the conservative resurgence of the 1950s. Conservative Protestants found their place in the Renaissance and the Enlightenment traditions. Though both were conservatives, they yielded distinctly different ways of “doing conservatism.”

There runs within the Protestant version a deep strain of secularism and the high wall between church and state. Within medievalist conservatives there is a much more organic relationship between church, state, and civil society, one less dependent on rationalism and Enlightenment ideas with its emphasis on the atomized individual and his rights. The one thousand years of the Church Age, from the fall of Rome in 410 AD to the Protestant Reformation, 1517, forms for medievalist conservatives the apex of Western civilization, a societal consensus that integrated all the variegated aspects of life into one whole in the center of which set the church, not so much as institution as the gathering up into one whole the fullest of what it meant to be human without fracturing off the parts into unrelated domains of human concerns.

Dr. Peter Kreeft, Professor of Philosophy at Boston College, is unapologetically a medievalist who looks upon the fragmentation brought about by the Protestant Reformation as the great wound in the medieval soul. So argued GK Chesterton, as well. They both are examples of that medievalism which birthed the conservative resurgence of the 50s.

Michael Novak’s role was to make a place for capitalism within the conservative renaissance, something the RC Church was particularly skeptical of. The RCs essentially were of the opinion that capitalism and Protestantism were baked into the same loaf. As a hierarchy the RC Church has not fully embraced capitalism here in America, and in other lands maintains a critical distance. So while Protestant conservatives and RC conservatives are co-billegerants in the political and cultural sphere, they do not easily mix.

Pat Buchanan and Justice Scalia are other examples of RC conservatives whose vision of conservatism embraces an organic whole of culture, society, government and church. Here is an article from the Imaginative Conservative, a website rooted in the thought of Russell Kirk. By the word ‘imaginative’ there is reference to a whole world grasp of a rightly ordered society rather than to the bare rationalism of the Enlightenment. It is a knowing by the soul, that which fits the soul and enables it to flourish.

Here is a recent posting at the Imaginative Conservative, which is rooted in the thought of Russell Kirk. This will give you some idea of the RC “brand.”