Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Monsignor in dark wood

Update: Hey Shak, thanks for the shout-out!
Dante and Virgil by FreakingArG at DeviantArt.
Shorter Ross Douthat, "What the Right's Intellectuals Did Wrong", New York Times, October 26 2016:
The trouble is that in the first place conservatives are badly underrepresented in the managerial class that runs the legal establishment, government bureaucracy, culture industry, and academia, all dominated by liberal meritocrats; and not represented at all outside the managerial class, where all the people who think they are conservative are actually right-wing populists. Thus the fact that true conservatives are nearly nonexistent puts us at a terrible and unjust disadvantage in the struggle to make our ideas prevail. Matthew Continetti thinks we should react to this by becoming more elitist, which sounds pretty attractive. Another possibility is that we should become more populist, only in an intellectually serious way. Intellectually serious populism could be a winner. Somebody just has to figure out how to do it, which will no doubt happen sooner or later, though at the moment things look pretty grim.
That's really about it. I can't understand why he skips the obvious solution, which is monarchy. If you have a king then he can appoint all 30 or 40 of the nation's true conservatives to run the legal and governmental and cultural and intellectual establishments and the lack of votes isn't a problem, which completely eliminates the other problem, of meritocracy, in which liberals keep winning out just because they do better in their exams. Monarchy, and a judicious use of prison torture and capital punishment. And it's very alt-right, which is so fashionable just now.

He ends with a literary reference that many readers will recognize:

History does not stand still; crises do not last forever. Eventually a path for conservative intellectuals will open.
But for now we find ourselves in a dark wood, with the straight way lost.
(Mi ritrovai per una selva oscura/Chè la diritta via era smarrita...)  More properly, because the straight road is lost. I guess Ross's best hope is for some dead Latin poet to turn up and show him around the afterlife. Then he can write a big book.

No comments:

Post a Comment