The New Republic is about the last place anyone would look for a fair reading of traditionalist conservatism. The magazine’s review pages are often outstanding, with such contributors as American historian Gordon S. Wood and classicist Peter Green, and its exposes of Republican crooks can provide almost as much satisfaction to principles conservatives as to liberals. But let’s be clear: The New Republic started out as Herbert Croly’s vessel for evangelizing the gospel of foreign interventionism and modern liberalism, and in the 93 years since then it has changed very little. The political environment has changed considerably, however, and Croly’s then-newfangled liberalism is nowadays hardly distinguishable from what’s called neoconservatism. The difference is that The New Republic continues to court the center-left, while the neocons have occupied the center-right. Lately TNR’s approach hasn”t been working out so well, as hard Leftists have decided that they”ve had enough of these hawkish liberals and have canceled their subscriptions in droves, resulting in a dizzying decline in the magazine’s readership.
Even in some of my saner moments, however, I can detect within myself a tendency of character that transforms me into a kind of Taki of the Gutter. Thus I may be the only writer you will ever read who has met both Paris Hilton and David Frum, a fact I adduce here with neither pride nor shame, merely as evidence of my indiscriminate, some would say alcoholically induced, gregariousness. Miss Hilton I met in Cannes, at a drinks party on a big tugboat by the name of Octopus, which I distinctly remember some people calling a yacht because it belonged to somebody who could afford one. Her journalistic counterpart I knew at university, where Mr Frum already stood out among his peers as a conspicuous toady, a superior liar, and a remarkably naff dresser.
The French Revolution was really a digestive eruption of all the basest instincts in the lowest elements of society, led by power-drunk ideologues of the radical Left. It was utterly unlike the American rebellion against the English colonial officials “ which amounted to a regional secession, led by the responsible members of the upper middle class. And for that fact we should be forever grateful, as should other countries which emulated the American model of political reform, rather than the French, as Hannah Arendt and Wilhelm RÃ¶pke have written. Of course, apologists for the Revolution will point to the inequalities and injustices of the Ancien Regime as justification for the bloodbath.
The extravaganza was made possible by the city which turned over some of its most historic sights to Valentino and the Oscar winning film designer Dante Ferretti, who proceeded to put up 40 classical columns illuminated from within in the ruins of the Temple of Venus, adjacent to the Coliseum. We were driven up by electric carts and then walked on red carpets into this vast space, where more than two thousand years ago Aphrodite ruled supreme.
As the former German Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer, has stated multiple times, “Auschwitz is the founding myth of our German democracy.” And in line with this morbid obsession, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who in the international press is deceptively characterized as a “conservative,” wants to use Germany’s succession to the EU’s presidency to impose on its members the speech controls that are the proud accomplishment of her country’s managed democracy. (Pleading their nation’s shame as an aggressor people, German politicians will not allow their countrymen to vote on the EU Constitution that would surrender what remains of German national sovereignty to the Union.) In Merkel’s peculiar understanding of “democracy” as a way of life, any European “trivializing” the Holocaust will have to face criminal charges before an international tribunal. For those who celebrate our success in bringing the defeated Germans a “democratic political culture,” it may be necessary to point out the difference between citizens of a republic and PC laboratory mice.
He’s the conscience of the Republican party, or, at least, of its conservative wing “ a reminder of the good old days, when being a right-wing GOPer meant never having to say you voted to raise taxes, or to increase the size of Big Government. When it meant a prudential foreign policy, rather than a Jacobin one rooted in recklessness. Rep. Paul remembers those days, and his campaign for the White House is based in large part on a conscious effort to revive this nearly-forgotten conservative tradition.
Charles A. Coulombe
The health of the Catholic Church was and is integral to the health of the West. If our civilization is to withstand its current slate of internal and external foes — throughout Europe and the Diaspora — it must regain its hold on the things that first enkindled its spirit. Restoration of liturgical sanity and unity within the Catholic Church will inevitably have a beneficial “trickle-down” effect far beyond the Church’s borders. Those who prize the health of the West must welcome Benedict XVI’s action, regardless of their own creed. Of course, this is only one part of the new Pope’s apparent program — all of which, however, tend to the same ends. His ongoing efforts at the formation of an Anglican Rite within the Catholic Church bode well for members of that Communion who are disgusted with their hierarchies” headlong retreat from Christian orthodoxy and morality. The Pope’s initiatives to shore up the beleaguered Patriarchate of Constantinople show an authentic desire to move past the hatreds and bitternesses of the past that have so long sundered East and West. Recent moves to discipline erring theologians and free the Catholics of China are very hopeful signs that the long slumber of the post-Vatican II era is over.
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