Levin: The ‘So-Called’ Conservative Intellectual Movement Is on Life Support
Levin in fact concludes that "there really is no conservative intellectual movement" and that is right. But it is right for a good reason. It overlooks what an "intellectual" is. An intellectual is someone who puts a sophisticated gloss on a simple idea. And the great headquarters of simple ideas is the Left. They never think anything through, which is why their policies are always disastrous -- check Obamacare
In fact Leftists have only one idea: "If people won't behave the way we want, then we will MAKE them behave. Compared to the complexities of libertarian policy proposals, their ideas are childish and unoriginal.
So when someone comes along who can make Leftist thinking sound half-decent, he is greeted rapturously, hailed as an "intellectual" and given lots of publicity.
Conservatives don't need that. Between the Bible and America's founding documents, they have all the guidance they need to create a good society and a good life for its people. They already have policies and ideas that work and are well-known. Erudite men like Levin can help publicize those mighty founding ideas and show how they apply in modern times but that is just a badly-needed educative role, not any kind of new discovery.
I can't put it better than Reagan did:
So we can safely leave intellectuals to the Left. We don't need them. The average IQ of Leftists and Rightists is about the same but we apply our minds to practical problems and the real world, not high flown theories, speculations and justifications for hate.
On his nationally syndicated radio talk show Thursday, host Mark Levin began his program’s opening monologue on a somber note, suggesting that the “so-called conservative intellectual movement” is “on life support.”
“[T]he so-called conservative intellectual movement is very weak right now – very weak,” stated Mark Levin. “In fact, I think it’s on life support.” Below is a transcript of Levin’s remarks from his show on Thursday:
“From time to time, often actually, I sit back and I watch what’s going on in the news or go on the internet and start reading various stories and so forth, and then I try to think back to history and philosophy and try to think back to our founding and try to make sense of it all.
“The vast majority of what comes across the television, what comes across the internet, what comes across the radio, in terms of news, is about the federal government. Maybe it’s about a congressman, maybe it’s about the Supreme Court, maybe it’s about a tax bill – it’s about the federal government.
“And this really is a massive alteration of what the founders of this country intended, that we would be spending so much time talking about the federal government, fearing the federal government, trying to win elections so we can control the federal government, expanding the federal government. It was never supposed to be this way.
“And you can see the deleterious effects.
“I said yesterday that, as a result of the conservative movement, we’ve had a lot of electoral victories at the federal level, but very few advances in terms of rolling back what the left has done and advancing liberty.
“And I believe that. I believe men and women, most of you, believe in America’s founding principles, believe in Americanism – Americanism.
“I also believe – it’s a sorry truth – that the so-called conservative intellectual movement is very weak right now – very weak. In fact, I think it’s on life support.
“You know, I write books about liberty, and I write books about the Declaration and the Constitution. And I write books about Supreme Court rulings. I write books about natural law and liberty and what all that means.
“The reason that most of these books sell about a quarter of a million copies or more every time I write them – which is by far the largest among conservatives, and yet receives virtually no attention among the fledgling, barely existing conservative intellectual movement – is because there really is no conservative intellectual movement. Or it’s very small, it’s very weak.”
Re. “...the so-called conservative intellectual movement is very weak right now – very weak. In fact, I think it’s on life support."ReplyDelete
I don't think so. I think conservatism is human consciousness, and leftism and rightism are innate within human psychology. So it is inevitable that they will battle on forever, in various guises, as manifests of that great battle between desire and better judgement, from which all other battles stem. JR has pointed out many times that the essence of conservatism is caution. But what is caution? Caution is awareness with individual responsibility. In other words, caution is a realised state of consciousness in touch with its own and its surrounding reality, meaning it is aware of itself and surroundings, and realises its ability to make its own choices and carry responsibility. Consciousness is caution, and caution is consciousness.
That, I think, is individual conservatism, which manifests collectively as a cautious collective movement. Conservatives cherish their individual freewill and responsibility, and their collective freedom. Applied social change can reduce freedom. That is why conservatives in a free society are cautious of applied social change.
There are two things, reality and emotional reactions to it. One attracts realists, the other attracts the emotional. Being cautious necessitates that we put our emotions aside and pay attention to reality and our decision making. The bulk of leftists don't do that. They are emotionally driven. They think according to their emotional reactions/feelings, except for the smart conscious ones who use and manipulate the emotional ones. The emotional are easily manipulated.
Leftism is emotionalism, so it requires all sorts of elaborations to make it seem intellectual and to justify it. Smart lefties cleverly intellectualise emotionalism to enchant the emotional.
That which gets called right wing extremism is an emotional reaction against the emotionalism and illogicalness of the left. They are on the same plane, opposing each other. That is why leftism and rightism are left and right of each other but are both to the left of reality or truth.
So it looks to me, anyway. So I don't think conservatism is on life support, but that left, right and conservatism are collective manifestations of the human condition in different states of focus, and will continue to exist in one guise or another. They have been steadily polarising and intensifying, though, and look like continuing to do so, and conflict is part of that.