Saturday, 4 February 2012

Immaturity of the European Right

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".


Anonymous said...

These people sound like GK Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc. And wasn't D'Annunzio similar?


Span Ows said...

Not sure you'll get anywhere "debating the muddle-headed leftists" because they don't debate: it's their way or 'you're wrong'.

Greg Tingey said...

Spot on
The Hugarian catholic nutters are only to clearly followers of de Maistre and very dangerous.

Given the history of evil and torture produced by the RC church, we should not be suprised?

Anonymous said...

The trouble with the physics of the pendulum is that the harder it swings one way, then the reciprocal is just as far in the opposite direction (almost). And so it is with Europe as it emerges from a decade of tax and spend leftism. These groups are bound to form as a reaction.

Coney Island

Anonymous said...

"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."

Yeah, debate is well and good, what is needed is to change the system, until we do the 'muddle-headed leftists' command and run the system.

That's the problem, 'Burkean traditions' [and fine ones they may be] and the logic of FREE market Capitalism never get or will never get a look in.
Because the 'muddle-headed leftists' do not engage in debate and are as intransigent as the Maistre-ites.
How do we civilise, even talk to the left? Armed revolt, a coup? Until the masses are engaged to vote them out: "never the twain will meet" is the conclusion.

Tarka the Rotter said...

Hungary should restore the Habsburgs - that would put the wind up the leftists in Brussels... (only kidding, am or the Burkean tendency myself...)