Sven Sellanraa writes on Brussels Journal of the emergence of a new Anglophone grouping of bloggers, writers and activists termed the 'Orthos', and speculates whether they are responsible for establishing a new philosophical foundation for the Right. I think he accords them far too much printspace; I think they're no more than the English speaking manifestation of the puerile and intellectually barren Euro Catholic Right, lovers of dressing up in silly made-up costumes, reviving (with profound ignorance) mediaeval organisations, awarders of fake and spurious medals, orders and titles and fascist fantasists of the like of Anders Brevik. The Brussels Journal itself leans this way, of course, so perhaps it's hardly surprising that it devotes space to essays of this kind.
By the start of the nineteenth century conservative ideology, the reaction against that villain Rousseau, had branched into those who followed the English tradition of Burke and the hard-core of followers of de Maistre. The Burkean tradition was largely protestant, liberal and democratic, and absorbed the intellectual changes of the first and second enlightenments with ease. Maistrists rejected the enlightenment in its entirety and sought a return to feudalism; Faguet wrote of de Maistre as "a fierce absolutist, a furious theocrat, an intransigent legitimist, apostle of a monstrous trinity composed of pope, king and hangman, always and everywhere the champion of the hardest, narrowest and most inflexible dogmatism, a dark figure out of the Middle Ages, part learned doctor, part inquisitor, part executioner". Yet this freakish man enjoys a renaissance amongst the European Right and its Anglophone shadow today; As Sellanraa states "Their main target is not postmodern relativism, redistributive left-liberalism, Frankfurt School cultural radicalism, or Marxian socialism; for although they deplore these things, they also regard them as mere symptoms of a deeper problem". Indeed, all of us on the Right deplore those things, but those of us in the Burkean tradition would rather debate the muddle-headed leftists over a decent dinner than burn them at the stake. I may pepper this blog with calls for embezzling bankers to have their nostrils slit and shoplifters (except Worral-Thompson, of course) to have their ears cropped but no-one (I hope) takes it very seriously. The difference is, the ideologists of the Euro Right mean it.
Hungary will be a fascinating laboratory to see how far the ideas of the Euro Right can go in government, restrained by an EU that is overwhelmingly committed to "postmodern relativism, redistributive left-liberalism, Frankfurt School cultural radicalism, or Marxian socialism".