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    “Since the state will never really leave us alone”

    “Since the state will never really leave us alone”

    Matt Lewis has a very interesting take on the “culture wars,” The culture war was never a fair fight (emphasis):

    Let’s take a step back for a moment first. Many prominent conservatives, like anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, argue that conservatives just want to be left alone. In fact, Norquist has dubbed conservatism the “leave us alone” coalition.

    Cultural conservatives see this as naïve. The state, they reason, will never leave us alone. We either win or we lose the culture war, but you can’t opt out. In this regard, they are like Winston Churchill, who said of his predecessor: “Mr. Chamberlain can’t seem to understand that we live in a very wicked world … English people want to be left alone, and I daresay a great many other people want to be left alone too. But the world is like a tired old horse plodding down a long road. Every time it strays off and tries to graze peacefully in some nice green pasture, along comes a new master to flog it a bit further along.'”

    Since the state will never really leave us alone, social conservatives reason that the state should encourage ordered liberty. That means that the state should incentivize behavior that has served Western Civilization well over the years. In other words, as Dylan said, “you’re gonna have to serve somebody,” so social conservatives reason that a virtuous society should encourage behavior deemed virtuous by traditional Judeo-Christian culture, and discourage behavior at odds with that.

    This, of course, is unpopular in the modern world — not just amongst liberals, but also with libertarian-leaning conservatives, and the general public. In today’s America, there is huge value placed on people being able to do what they want and be who they want to be. Trying to deny them those “rights” has become something of a taboo in many circles.

    The leave us alone political philosophy is one to which I am extremely sympathetic.  But I doubt it’s possible regardless.


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    snopercod | March 27, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    I’ve always rebelled against “cultural conservatives” proscribing what other people could do, but after reading Visions of Order by Richard Weaver, I’m reassessing my position. Weaver makes an excellent case for the importance of cultural norms in civil society. Norms are the glue which holds a society together.

      snopercod in reply to snopercod. | March 28, 2013 at 6:56 am

      Sultan Knish understands what the culture war is all about: The destruction of civilization. On the issue of “gay rights”: The Deconstruction of Marriage

      The only question worth asking about gay marriage is whether anyone on the left would care about this crusade if it didn’t come with the privilege of bulldozing another civilizational institution.

      Gay marriage is not about men marrying men or women marrying women, it is about the deconstruction of marriage between men and women…

      …The left’s deconstruction of social institutions is not a quest for equality, but for destruction. As long as the institutions that preceded it exist, it will go on deconstructing them until there is nothing left but a blank canvas, an unthinking anarchy, on which it can impose its perfect and ideal conception of how everyone should live.

    And now a word from C.S. Lewis:

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity(greed) may at some point be satiated(temporarily satisfied); but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences.”

    The Democrat Political Machine is calibrated to attack “leave us alone” mentality by doing just the opposite.

    What forces liberals to back up is massive push back and regaining lost constitutional land.

    Take a lesson from the Israelis. The 1967 borders are borders of war.

    The liberals, though powerful, are not invincible. Their power is absolutely predicated on the attack-on-command diminishing Liberal Media, a leak-springing flotilla with ever diminishing firepower.

    In my view, the key is sinking their Media in a sea of self-created political corruption.

      Crawford in reply to VotingFemale. | March 27, 2013 at 4:43 pm

      “The Democrat Political Machine is calibrated to attack “leave us alone” mentality by doing just the opposite.”


      Remember the complaints from the left that all conservatives cared about were “God, guns, and gays”? Well, conservatives were being DEFENSIVE on those fronts. It was the left that kept pushing them; if they had agreed to disagree, those issues would have faded from political discourse.

      Instead they constantly push, then complain that the people they’re shoving express resentment.

    gottarideduc | March 27, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    Success requires a simple message. The bigger the state gets, the more people will feel overwhelmed, see the destruction government has wrought and will be open to the “leave me alone” message.

    This does not mean that the culture war ends. Rather, that it is taken from the field of coercive government to the field of persuasive private action. High societal standards can still be advanced. the social conservatives can still try to persuade. But doing so with the force of government is no better than the liberals legislating their nihilistic, destructive agenda.

    Henry Hawkins | March 27, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    No island is a man.

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