“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The lost tribe.

The Basics of PaleoConservatism
By William H. Calhoun (12/21/06)

"Are there even any real conservatives left in America?" recently asked the one eager for knowledge. "There are," responded the wise man, "but they are often called paleoconservatives."

What are paleoconservatives? Well, as Russell Kirk once said, they are the only real conservatives left in America. The whole "conservative movement" has moved so far to the Left, or rather has been "neoconned," that many so-called conservatives are "conservative" in name only.

What do paleoconservatives believe?

Like mainstream conservatives, paleos are often religious, or at least reverent of religion. They are opposed to secularism, opposed to "gay marriage," opposed to the abortion industry, opposed to political correctness, opposed to the vulgarity of popular culture, and opposed to big government.

Otherwise, paleoconservatives hold more traditional views not held by many mainstream conservatives and certainly not by neoconservatives (aka "liberals in disguise").

For the remainder of the essay, I shall contrast paleos with neocons, who have gained prominence in America in recent years largely due to alliances with liberals. The liberal mainstream media is quite tolerant of neocons since they are only liberals of a different stripe.

First, unlike neocons / neoliberals, paleoconservatives oppose free trade. Historically and philosophically, conservatives have opposed free trade, and they should. It is destroying our economy, it is undermining our sovereignty, and it is national suicide. Unfortunately, many in the GOP have been "neoconned" into supporting free trade.

Second, unlike neoliberals / neocons, paleoconservatives are critical of mass immigration and oppose the third-world invasion of America. All immigration (whether legal or illegal) from the third world must end. Our country is currently being invaded, and many in the GOP (Bush, McCain, Rice, Brownback, Giuliani, Huckabee, et al.) not only have done nothing to oppose this invasion, they actually support it. They actively attempt to transform the USA into a third-world wasteland.

Third, unlike Leftists (and the neocons who have adopted this idea from them), paleoconservatives oppose the "proposition nation." The proposition nation is the left-wing idealization of a nation whereby one only has to believe in a few propositions to be considered a citizen. Not only is this contrary to history, but it is the recipe for self-destruction. Paleoconservatives support the traditionally conservative concept of a nation: one built upon kith and kin, blood and soil, genophilia (instinctive attachment to family and tribe), ancestral obligations, and ethnic solidarity.

Fourth, neocons at heart are philosophical liberals. They accept most of the liberal baggage of the Enlightenment and actually champion the left-wing notion of "rights." Paleoconservatives, however, reject Enlightenment notions of "rights," and rather believe in a more traditionalist, flawed view of human nature, one based in history, ancestry, community, and custom, and guided by the laws of nature. Obligation trumps right. Whereas most neocons / neoliberals side with the Enlightenment revolutionaries, paleoconservatives side with Aristotle and the Bible. Whereas neocons / neoliberals champion equality and egalitarianism, paleoconservatives cherish ancestral traditions and hierarchy.

Fifth, neocons support a neoliberal foreign policy, which resembles more Jacobin radicalism than conservatism. Neocons seek to transform the world into a liberal global democracy - tossing aside prudence, history, and realism. Paleoconservatives, on the other hand, realize that different types of government are better tailored for different cultures. Furthermore, paleoconservatives are largely non-interventionist, which means that we should not be a military for hire to solve others' problems. If attacked, certainly, we should fight back, but we needn't be the world's policeman.

Regarding terrorism, many paleos support the position that the only way to end terrorism in the West (we can never stop it in the Middle East) is (1) to completely withdraw from the Middle East, and (2) to deport all Muslims from the West. This policy, more than any other, would reduce the chances of terrorist attacks on Western soil.

Neocons, however, support the opposite: endless war in the Middle East, and endless third-world immigration to the West. In fact, they just increased quotas for Muslims in the USA -- not to mention the fact, as reported by Christian Science Monitor recently, that 200,000 Hispanics in the USA have recently converted to Islam.

Neocons, though, have no real historical attachment to America, and could care less about its wellbeing. They send our boys to die in a meaningless war in Iraq while the third world invades our country on an hourly basis. They protect Iraq's borders, and allow ours to be flooded with third-world invaders.

In short, paleoconservatives are the only real conservatives left in America. Philosophically and ideologically, neocons are leftists in disguise, who fifty years ago would have been tried for treason but now portray themselves as patriotic Americans.

William H. Calhoun is a writer, a poet warrior in the classical sense, a paleoconservative, and a farmer on his ancestral estate. Americandaily


  1. "The neoconservatives believe that America is special because it was founded on an idea—a commitment to the rights of man embodied in the Declaration of Independence—not in ethnic or religious affiliations. The theocons, too, argue that America is rooted in an idea, but they believe that idea is Christianity." -- Jacob Heilbrunn.

    "Crunchy cons disapprove of abortion rights, same-sex marriage, illegal immigrants, public schools, secular liberals and mothers who work outside the home. But they don't like Wal-Mart, McMansions, suburbs, pollution, agribusiness or processed foods, either." -— David D. Kirkpatrick

  2. Regarding terrorism, many paleos support the position that the only way to end terrorism in the West (we can never stop it in the Middle East) is (1) to completely withdraw from the Middle East, and (2) to deport all Muslims from the West. This policy, more than any other, would reduce the chances of terrorist attacks on Western soil.

    The real reason we paleoconservatives think we should withdraw is so that our boys don't suffer any ill effects from the radiation after we implement our "final soultion" to the Muslim question.

  3. It's so easy, even a paleo-conservative caveman like me can do it!

    The usage of the term, "conservative" is definitely in a state of flux right now. It means different things to different people. Remember President Bush being asked by the reporter,"Are you a conservative?"

    In my lowly opinion, Liberals are Marxists, Conservatives are Liberals, and Libertarians are Anarchists!

    The rest of us cavemen? ... don't really know how to label it!

  4. Oh Trish! I'm Libertarian also when it comes to big government, but the Libertarians are first cousins to the Anarchists, just as the NeoCons are first cousins to the Marxists.

    Could a Paleo be referred to as a "Goldwater" conservative? Nah! Too extreme I guess.

  5. I'm telllin' you guys, Librarians have got the books and the knowledge to turn US around.

    Little ladies with blue hair, all with glasses at the end of their noses. Just wait until Mr Putin or Abracadbra start acting up, making noise as it were. They know how to handle rowdys, an evil look and a shushhh, the rap 'em on the knuckles with a ruler!!!

  6. WASHINGTON — A former congressman who helped spark President Bill Clinton's impeachment has quit the Republican Party to become a member of the smaller Libertarian Party, saying he is disillusioned with the Republicans on issues such as spending and privacy.

    Bob Barr, who served eight years as a Republican congressman before losing his seat in 2002, announced Friday that he is now a "proud, card-carrying Libertarian." And he encouraged others to join him.

    "It's something that's been bothering me for quite some time, the direction in which the party has been going more and more toward big government and disregard toward privacy and civil liberties," said Barr, 58, a lawyer and consultant living in Atlanta. "In terms of where the country needs to be going to get back to our constitutional roots ... I've come to the conclusion that the only way to do that is to work with a party that practices what it preaches, and that is the Libertarian Party."

  7. Rufus said, "The Republicans have gone 'Democrat, and, the Democrats have gone 'INSANE!'"

    "Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself." -- Mark Twain

  8. Much like unfettered immigration the "Big Tent" brought in more Republicans but many never assimilated or "bought into" the agenda.
    The agenda by necessity of the "Big Tent" morphed into a less than conservative, pro big government,"spend and hope like hell to grow" economic philosophy.
    With minor deviations Big Nanny Government is the desire of both parties. The Republicans just proved that after their latest in power status, where they did nothing but move toward a one world government (NAU) and spend spend spend.

  9. Tiger said, "Could a Paleo be referred to as a 'Goldwater' conservative? Nah! Too extreme I guess."

    Absolutely not. Barry Goldwater thought gays and lesbians were...human beings and American citizens. He said knee-jerk loony liberal things like, "The conservative movement, to which I subscribe, has as one of its basic tenets the belief that government should stay out of people's private lives. Government governs best when it governs least - and stays out of the impossible task of legislating morality. But legislating someone's version of morality is exactly what we do by perpetuating discrimination against gays."

  10. They all do one thing with equal aplomb.

    They gather OUR money and redistribute it the way they want to.

  11. Got a big kick outta that armed pilot.

    That's a .50 cal, right? Shoot right through the plane, lengthwise, I'd wager.

    Ok... maybe until it hit something fat in the galley?

  12. Ah WC.. that Goldwater quote was what year? In his dotage he made many statements that contradicted his philosophy during his prime.

    P.S. I'm about to head out for Christmas with my sister & her family but I want to wish you whatever wish is appropriate. And stay safe.

  13. Spool up the A-10's and B-52,2's,1's the Hajj is beginning and what a great gift but to bomb the Ka'ba with about a gazillion Islams walking around and around and around. Shankesmare NASCAR.

    And lets make sure to do a cimematic collage of that juxaposed 9-11,USS Cole,Spain trains,Africa embassies, Uday and Kusay and the stump grinder,Sadam gassing Kurds and of course finish it all up with a rerun of old Andy Williams Christmas Specials.

  14. Semper Lex Talionis !!

    and Merry Christmas. :)

  15. Barry Goldwater thought gays and lesbians were...human beings and American citizens.

    Gosh! WC! Nobody said those folks weren't human - they're just a bit queer, that's all!

  16. The Rufuster said, "Trust me, Triton; there ain't Nothin in the Galley goin to slow that bullet down."

    If it hits the stony airplane food, like the scrambled eggs, that round ain't going anywhere.

  17. Rufus said, Remember that "Giant Sucking Sound" that Ross Perot, and Pat Buchanan warned us about?

    Well, it turns out it was the sound of people being "Sucked Off" of the Unemployment Roles and into jobs.

    Horse S---.

    I don't care what the 'statistics' say, I see plenty of anecdotal evidence to the contrary.

  18. That bullet may stop should Allah wish it.

    If Allah wanted to, he could turn that bullet into a flock of sparrows or a jar of honey wrapped in a palm frond.

    If Allah wanted to, he could turn that bullet into a Panini, Panera be praised.

    If Allah wanted to, that bullet would strike its target, but turn into an explosion of rose petals, and instead of the sound of impact, "allahu ackbar" would echo throughout.

  19. Rem 870,

    Folks I know who lament the state of the economy are:

    -Kids who live at home with their parents, having majored in film and/or working on their novels, screenplays
    -Unmotivated luddite hipsters

    That's my anecdotal stuff. I live near a big city so that may color my info.

  20. Yeah, the city would do that. Visit a rural area in the south. We've had five factories shut down in the past ten years. All of them moved to Mexico with one exception - that one moved half the operation to Mexico and the other half to Wisconsin. I was working for one of those companies.

    We were already one of the poorest counties in Florida, so this hasn't helped. Now the county commissioners are working on giving the county away to bring businesses in - giving away land, utilities and massive tax breaks. Sure they've created a couple of hundred jobs, but we've lost well over 2000. Replacing manufacturing jobs that take a skill with service jobs where you count boxes or whatever isn't much of an improvement.

    The free market with Mexico also hurts the local farmers - another thing that city-folk don't care much about. I used to be what they call a "hobby farmer" - I've got a 40-acre spread that I used to grow melons on. Not anymore - even if I still had the time, I can't compete with the Mexican fruit.

    Overall though, I'm doing OK - I have an education that I fell back on. I went back to school and got my MS in mechanical engineering. Recently I opened my own engineering firm. I'm guessing I don't fit the mold of a "kid living at home" or a "hippie luddite", whatever the Hell a luddite is.

  21. ppab,

    My problem has been finding people who are employable... not to discount rem's comment, but I cover all of US-Canada, and what I'm running into suggests we're at full employment.

    I've described this at length in the past either here or over at BC, so I won't repeat it.


  22. And by "employable" I DON'T mean someone in-country illegally, I'm talking skilled tradesmen.

  23. No to free trade.
    Yes to balanced trade.

  24. Mətušélaḥ said, "No to free trade. Yes to balanced trade."

    And let Adam Smith's invisible hand balance the trade. Just look at the record of Communism and Socialism to see what happens when a central planning bureau fiddles with things.

  25. Did I say they can't buy the valued US monopoly paper money? :)

  26. rufus, rufus, rufus,

    re: the chair

    I saw the montage earlier in the day butt, in the interest of chairity, I chose to circumnavigate. Now, even the normally circumspect Deuce has shown up at TigerHawk to do a fly-around.

    Oh, did you also detect a panty line?

  27. I see the picture and think Shetland pony. What's that all about?

  28. I cannot imagine how the Shetlands would survive the ride.

  29. Rufus,

    Your grass link is interesting. Seems like you posted that before, or else I saw it somewhere. I'm very skeptical for the simple reason that it is another exotic species. We've got a real problem with the other exotics in this state - Melaleuca, Kudzu, Torpedo Grass, Hyacinth, and Old World Climbing Fern to name a few. My educational background is mechanical engineering, but I've got some experience with environmental engineering in regards to wetland mitigation and restoration. I'm no freaking bunny-hugger, but exotics are killers. Literally. Hopefully the folks in your link will figure out how to keep the grass in check. If nothing else, hopefully it will lead to knowledge on how to use native species.

    My gut-feel is that the environmentalists will stop this project. Right now we've got the Game & Fish Commission trying to ban pythons from coming into the state. That's another exotic species wreaking havoc down here.

    I've not looked into it, but I assume you have - when a claim is made that X acres of Y grass will power Z homes, how is that figured? What I mean is, does that assume a 100% yield, then the highest possible conversion rate? What about the question of how long it will power a home - is this instantaneous, or are you talking about enough energy to power a home for a full day? What about the growing season? Around here, you're doing pretty good to cut your hay field 3 or 4 times in the summer. Does that figure in to these numbers you bring up?

    There is an awful lot of wiggle room when you start talking like that (X acres will power Z homes). Tell me the energy content of the grass, the efficiency of extracting it, and then a resaonable harvest figure. I think when you start to come at it from that perspective you see that you don't get as much energy as you might think. Still, it's a start . . .

  30. Rufus,

    Your 3% figure on unemployment - I have no idea as to its accuracy. I don't put much stock in unemplyment figures. They only track individuals who are receiving unemployment benefits. After your 3-6 months of unemplyment is used up, you are no longer counted whether you have a job or not.

  31. One more point on the unemployment thing - it's deceptive. For instance, let's say you're a welder that makes $15/hr. Suddenly your company decides it is moving to Mexico. You've got a family so you have to work, but the only thing available is working the sporting goods counter at Wal-mart for $8/hr. Yeah, you're employed, but it isn't the same. When the industrial base leaves, the good- (non-professional) paying jobs also leave.

  32. Yeah, Rufus, but how do you think they determine who is looking for work? "Looking for work" is a prerequisite to receiving unemployment benefits. After the benefits are up, the government doesn't call to check on you and see if you have found work. It's a very misleading stat. I've been there. After I was laid off, and the benefits were gone, I took out a loan and went back to school. The government has no idea, but I guarantee you that I wasn't counted as 'unemployed' anymore.

  33. You're right, I did just skim it. After you called me on it, I went back. There are some hardnumbers there. I've saved the site and after Christmas I'll run the numbers and see what I come up with.

    This, "If more studies point out that the energy crop in question can be grown in a relatively controlled manner, then it would make for a very interesting bioenergy feedstock for large-scale production in the developing world." did not excape my attention. There is still a question as to how well this plant can be controlled. I have my doubts - every exotic (plant and anmial) purposely brought here is brought by people who say they can control it. I'm doubtful. At the same time, though, I don't know what this species would do if it got out of control - there is the possibility that it would be totally benign. if that info was in the article, I missed it. I'll keep my eye on the situation as best I can.

  34. Maybe you are right Rufus, but that isn't how the State explained it to me. If I am wrong, then I'm wrong - but I wonder how many of those calls in Florida are outside of Miami, Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville. On top of that, 3000 doesn't sound very representative - we've got well over 15 million people in this state. If the number was 15,000,000, then 3,000 is 0.02% - pretty small.

  35. to be a landowner in Fl, with a degree in mechanical engineering, and a skill in welding

    Well, I've got two and half out of the three, but you are missing a fourth - money. This stuff takes deep pockets. Growing the grass doesn't, but like with any crop, to make big money on it, you either need ALOT of land, or you have to be able to control the product after harvest.

  36. You might be interested to know that our county is supposed to be getting another business in here soon. It has something to do with pelletized fuel. I've only heard rumors here and there, but it sounds like pellets made from silage or some other plant waste that will be burned as fuel in the generation of electricity. I haven't been able to figure out if the pellets will be produced here or if we are just getting a warehouse. There's been no word on how many jobs may come with it, but it is something (if it actually comes).

    I worked for a couple of years as a maintenance engineer in one (two, really) of the power plants here in the state(FPL as a matter of fact). My graduate work was in the field of power and energy conversion. I love this kind of stuff. I guess I'm just a skeptic right now when it comes to bio-energy.

    Once I get my business going a bit stronger (i.e. when I can hire someone tohelp out), I plan on trying to market solar systems (not planets). There won't be much, if any, market for that here, but closer to the bigger cities I think there might be an interest in "green power".

  37. Nope, I'm in the Panhandle. I did "my time" in S Florida with FPL - that's the biggest reason I left. Country boys don't fit in too well down there.

    I enjoyed the back and forth. In all seriousness, if you "unretire" and would like some technical help/advice in this endeavor, give a holler. I'm usually just lurking around in the background.

    Gotta get home. My boys will be asking for their Daddy about now.

    Merry Christmas.