Friday, April 30, 2010

"The Opposite of an Ideologue"

Philokalia Republic posts a video of a fascinating interview with the great historian and self-described reactionary ("somebody who thinks the clock has to be put back sometimes") — John Lukacs discusses conservatism, ideology and progress with Bill Moyers.

"A conservative is profoundly aware of the sinful essence of human nature, including that of his own country and his own people," says Professor Lukacs. "Patriotism is essentially defensive. Nationalism is aggressive. And our conservatives are nationalists, not patriots." More: "American conservatism is now more enamored with progress, and technical progress, than liberals and progressives were two generations ago."

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Anonymous setnaffa said...

So... You choose to allow the barnyard animals to smear feces on the farmers on your own blog...

Orwell would not be amused.

What in either of these men's backgrounds leads you to believe they are even remotely likely to tell the truth about anything or anyone who loves America?

11:31 PM  
Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

Well, there is a difference between patriotism and nationalism, no question. And it is a very conservative thing to point that out. Patriotism is a love of tradition, of people, of places and history. It is a positive attribute, insofar as it inculcates a love of home, an elevation of one's own patria, one's own Heimat.

But nationalism is a different creature. It seeks not to love one's own homeland, but to elevate it above all others, uber alles. It denies to other peoples and nations the right to patriotism, seeing in one's own country all that is true, just, good and right. Nationalism is malignant, a corruption of the beauty of patriotism, a corruption of the love of country into a perverse worship of the State and its glory.

Chesterton once commented on the saying that "The Sun Never Sets on the British Empire" thusly: "What good is a country without sunsets." That is a patriotic sentiment.

12:35 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

setnaffa asks, "What in either of these men's backgrounds leads you to believe they are even remotely likely to tell the truth about anything or anyone who loves America?" Moyers may well be a pinko, but he was just the interviewer; Lukacs is one of the most respected figures among the non-neocon Right.

Mark in Spokane, one of my favorite Chesterton quote. I also like this one: "A patriot does not boast of the largeness of his country, but of its smallness." And this one, too: "The British Empire may annex what it likes, it will never annex England. It has not even discovered the island, let alone conquered it."

8:56 AM  
Blogger Enbrethiliel said...


Chesterton also wrote: "Loyalty implies loyalty in misfortune; and when a soldier has accepted any nation's uniform he has already accepted its defeat."

7:32 PM  

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