Monday, October 12, 2009

From a helpful and quite orienting post by the erudite Fr. Jonathan Tobias, an Orthodox priest:

The post-industrial society has made fools of conservatives (I speak as one). With its ubiquitous and polluted fog of virtual reality – which eclipses reality, or direct experience of creation – conservatives who would still like to use the historic language of reality are left speechless. God knows there are too many shrill and bumpkin voices who fly the conservative banner, but are really boorish right-wingers.


Our problem is not the Nanny State. It is, rather, the Nanny Marketplace, whose commercials are broadcast these days on the dark side of our foreheads.

That is why I tell you not to worry so much about Obama or his Republican predecessors and successors: they are, to a man, impotent at stemming the tide (even if they cared). The conservative mistake in the last hundred years is that they were too political, and boorishly so. They cared more for elections than for stories, for art and poetry. They insinuated political contests into religion, of all things, and wondered why God discredited them at every turn. They abandoned philosophizing and turned instead to Philistine sarcasm (think of Buckley here).

They have willingly joined the Gadarene rush down over the cliff and into the briny sea.

It's really well worth the time to read. It put a few things together in my mind that I hadn't really placed yet. For those who think conservatism is whatever the folks at National Review or Fox News happen to whip up, a lot of this is probably new territory. And for those who read Eliot, Kirk, Chesterton, et alia, he has some challenging words.


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