David Brooks: Conservatism: An Elegy

David Brooks has written a eulogy for American mainstream conservatism in the latest edition of The Atlantic. The great hope over there is to persuade the True Cons or suburban moderate center-right voters that Donald Trump is such a unique authoritarian threat to liberal democracy that they need to rake Joe Biden’s coals out of the fire and form an alliance with the Left.

The Atlantic:

“I fell in love with conservatism in my 20s. As a politics and crime reporter in Chicago, I often found myself around public-housing projects like Cabrini-Green and the Robert Taylor Homes, which had been built with the best of intentions but had become nightmares. The urban planners who designed those projects thought they could improve lives by replacing ramshackle old neighborhoods with a series of neatly ordered high-rises. …

What passes for “conservatism” now, however, is nearly the opposite of the Burkean conservatism I encountered then. Today, what passes for the worldview of “the right” is a set of resentful animosities, a partisan attachment to Donald Trump or Tucker Carlson, a sort of mental brutalism. The rich philosophical perspective that dazzled me then has been reduced to Fox News and voter suppression. …

Burkean conservatism inspired me because its social vision was not just about laws, budgets, and technocratic plans; its vision was about soulcraft, about how we build institutions that produce good citizens—people who are moderate in their zeal, sympathetic to the marginalized, reliable in their diligence, and willing to sacrifice the private interest for public good. Conservatism resonated with me because it recognized that culture is more important than the state in driving history. “Manners are of more importance than laws,” Burke wrote. …

True conservatism’s great virtue is that it teaches us to be humble about what we think we know; it gets human nature right, and understands that we are primarily a collection of unconscious processes, deep emotions, and clashing desires. Conservatism’s profound insight is that it’s impossible to build a healthy society strictly on the principle of self-interest. It’s an illusion, as T. S. Eliot put it, to think that a society in which people don’t have to be good can thrive. Life is essentially a moral enterprise, and the health of your community will depend on how well it does moral formation—how well it nurtures ordered inner lives and helps balance sentiments, desires, and motivations. Finally, conservatism welcomes you into a great procession down the ages. …

On the right, especially among the young, the populist and nationalist forces are rising. All of life is seen as an incessant class struggle between oligarchic elites and the common volk. History is a culture-war death match. Today’s mass-market, pre-Enlightenment authoritarianism is not grateful for the inherited order but sees menace pervading it: You’ve been cheated. The system is rigged against you. Good people are dupes. Conspiracists are trying to screw you. Expertise is bogus. Doom is just around the corner. I alone can save us. …”

I thought it was a rather moving tribute.

We all know exactly what happened to this easy going, kind hearted, trusting old gentleman.

As David Brooks stepped down from the podium after delivering his respectful speech, he walked away from the casket of his old friend and into the restroom. He stood next to his associate and accomplice, the murderer, who was looking in the mirror, soaked in the blood of the old man and who was cleaning himself up and washing the blood off his knife. The old man had been taken advantage of and butchered in his home by this Bolshevik. Such was the image that came to mind while I was reading this essay.

You can think of the old man as symbolizing the sort of naive True Con who sees society as a complex organism and who instinctively distrusts those who want to make radical changes to it for sound philosophical and historical reasons and the murderer as the leftist who has butchered the social fabric with a thousand stab wounds. Every puncture and gaping wound in his political corpse was made by these people. They hated the old man and everything he stood for and murdered him out of sheer malice.

David Brooks would have the old man’s next of kin believe that we are the ones who murdered him. In reality, we are simply reacting to the sheer horror of the crime scene. The social fabric has been shredded in too many ways to count. There is the level of socially destabilizing mass immigration that has no precedent in world history. There is the assault coming from the Left on every amendment of the Bill of Rights. There is political correctness mutating into wokeness which is transforming America into a totalitarian surveillance state like East Germany. There is the total war on every icon of the American past including the Founders. There is the racial demonization of Whites and the sexual demonization of men. There is the weaponization of the FBI and the “intelligence community.” There is Congress which never seems to break away from its ongoing show trials. There are the pedagogues who want to confuse children about their gender. There is the censorship and repression of all dissent in the “mainstream.” There are the political officers purging the military of the “domestic extremists” and commissars who call themselves “journalists” who make a sport out of hunting down and destroying the lives of ordinary people for saying the wrong words. You can no longer escape from these people in the pleasures of sports, shopping, comedy or video games. What is supposed to unite a country where things like this are happening?

I could continue, but I will stop here. FOX News is reporting that their Christmas tree was set on fire last night in the latest sign of New York City’s descent. There are too many rips in the social fabric to count and we haven’t even touched on the incels. And yes, there are people who are nursing various cultural grievances – the vaccine mandates being only the latest log tossed on the fire – and who are angry that all of this has happened. It is certainly true that the Right has been provoked into an incandescent state of rage in which “lib owning” and those who excel at it is the only metric that seems to matter, but these political and cultural arsonists and the way in which they wield power and delight in trampling on their fellow citizens are responsible. The “Latinx” controversy illustrates how they just can’t help themselves even when it is in their overwhelming political self interest to show some restraint.

David Brooks knows that populist reactionaries didn’t invent open borders, critical race theory or transgenderism. They are responding to these issues. He whines about the “authoritarianism” of the “far right” which controls no institutions and which wields no power or authority in America and which only votes, complains on the internet and holds free speech rallies. Has anyone like David Brooks ever been challenged to book a hotel conference room? Are they hounded off college campuses by angry mobs? Do they live in precarity and fear of being doxxed for dissenting from establishment orthodoxy?

As an “authoritarian,” I spend most of my time working, not wielding cultural or political power which I do not possess. I follow the news. I see what is going on. I listen to people like David Brooks. It is no accident that Democrats are losing White rural voters by 80% margins now and have transformed Iowa and Ohio into safe Red states. I’m a populist voter and I don’t agree conservative orthodoxy on government and economics, but the Left has forced people who share my views into the Republican camp, which has demographically transformed its base. In lots of places in Middle America, the whole town sees what is going on and that matters more than smaller divides over economic preferences.

The Democrats could always reverse course and moderate on culture war issues. They could stop toppling statues of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. They could stop using “BIPOC” or “White male” as a racial slur, but that would be “White appeasement.” It would be catering to the Karens who care more about their White sons than dismantling our system of “white supremacy.” Instead of defriending everyone who doesn’t share their progressive cultural views, they could embrace the “pluralism” that David Brooks talks about and which isn’t seen in any of our institutions these days.

How is a “center-right” and “center-left” alliance supposed to work in practice? The Bolsheviks are taking over and cancelling the liberals in these institutions now. These people have the “moral clarity” to perceive that Andrew Sullivan is “white supremacy.” Are they going to tolerate True Cons and their “little platoons” in other sense than in just using them as tools to advance their own authoritarian agenda? David French is always willing to write to the conservative case against manliness and the conservative case against anti-CRT laws and the conservative case for structural racism and the conservative case against Kyle Rittenhouse. At the end of the day, David Brooks just wants a “mainstream” conservatism that is willing to be steamrolled, absorb, affirm and then bless everything the hard Left is doing.

No one on our side choose to find ourselves in this world. No one on our side picked all of these fights. We’re not the aggressors in this conflict. We’re less bothered by disagreement. It is the other side which has shut down “pluralism.” If anything is true, we have been slow to anger and less willing to break with the liberal norms and more indulgent of our opposition. The political establishment threw off the shackles of the liberal norms while even the Alt-Right crusading for free speech and civil liberties.

You’re so unpopular now that you are going to get Donald Trump again.

About Hunter Wallace 12142 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

27 Comments

  1. Kosher sandwich is a good term. Is there a single politician on either side that doesn’t grovel at the sperm encrusted “Wailing Wall”? We got here in less than 125 years.

  2. The real problem with ‘conservatism’ is that it didn’t lead anywhere – there was no ultimate goal one could work towards, no clear and consistently described end-state which could theoretically be achieved one day. Hence the ratchet effect where leftist projects could be delayed or put off for a few years, only to be implemented in the end by the courts, through bursts of Dem control of Congress, or facts-on-the-ground as with immigration – and never rolled back. It’s no surprise that the areas where the Right *does* have a clear positive vision (guns and abortion, as well as low taxes for the donor class) are also those areas where the Left has made very little progress in the past few decades, or even lost ground.

    I think the election fraud stuff is complete and obvious BS, but the speed with which red-state legislatures have reacted to it is breathtaking. Feels like the first time in years, maybe decades, that a genuine popular/grassroots movement has emerged on the Right, and the results are plain to see.

    • It’s BS that they cheat? Really? It’s not defending Trump to point out that these people cheat and the “Republican Party” that allows people like Brooks to go on air to “defend” wasn’t willing to stand up to it. Let’s see these “red state legislatures” actually get results. Would not bet on it!J

    • The problem is that the solution involves abrogating property rights of those who own the cultural apparatus spewing this anti-culture since the 60s. It also involves abrogating the speech rights of leftist educators and journalists. In that past Kings never had this “anything goes” culture of subversive speech because they knew it would end with their, or their descendent’s head on a platter. It sort of worked for a bit in America because of the uniformity of the small population, but as the years went by the place became less and less cohesive, the ethnic composition changed radically, and it now resembles the rabble of Rome, if not worse. A whole different mindset coming from different people now infesting the cultural apparatus needs to be hammered into the minds of future generations. This marxist cultural apparatus has got to go, and you won’t be able to do it if you let the constitution fetish blind your thinking.

    • By rights, HW would he the top columnist at WAPO or NYT etc., but since he is a factual gentile, he isn’t allowed the positions of ewish privilege.

  3. How you can stomach to read the ju spew, i don’t know, but I’m glad you do, it saves me the suffering and keeps us informed.

    If not for ju privilege, that hack, david brookstein, couldn’t find a single sober person to give him a read.

  4. “There are too many rips in the social fabric to count”

    The economy is the lynchpin, when it shatters, all the consequences of 50+ years of anti-WHITE policies will come roaring in, with a vengeance.

    A damburst.

  5. Speaking of trash and scum with the name brooks,
    what’s happened to darrell brooks, he just vanished, total silence.

  6. Brooks says he briefly toyed with socialist ideas in his youth but he was inspired by Burke, and Buckley. He praises Jewish shiva customs and wants to conserve the “traditions” of capitalism and imperialism, so he always discredits and denounces the real opposition to the system. In the article he writes: “French revolutionaries thought they could destroy a society and rebuild it from scratch, but ended up with the guillotine; the Russian and Chinese Communists tried to create a centrally-controlled society, but ended up with the gulag and the Cultural Revolution.” But in reality, the French revolutionaries were freeing the people from enslavement to monarchy, feudal “nobility” and Catholicism, but the revolution was betrayed and derailed, and renewed slavery under Bonapartism and bourgeois, capitalist, constitutional monarchy followed. However when Russia and China revolted against the system they mostly succeeded, and the stories of Holdomor, gulags and cultural revolution atrocities that Brooks cites to discredit socialism are mostly fabrication. Without the national teaching/learning experience of the Cultural Revolution, China would have remained corrupted by “Western values” and was already sliding back into colonialism.

  7. Bravo. A tour de force post. A fitting reply to the cowards like Brooks. I would not change a word. Great job, HW/BG.

  8. The bottom line: All David Brooks cares about is what is in the best interests of his tribe and their illegitimate Zionist state of “Israel”.

  9. Brooks idea of Democracy is that millions of Hindu’s and Sikhs be allowed to come to America legally and enthusiastically vote The Native White Working Class into a violently persecuted White Racial Minority within the borders of America…

  10. Don’t think the POTUS election was stolen? Read the piece by Patrick Basham in the October, 2021 issue of ‘Chronicles’, then report back here.

  11. Funny that these true cons never seem to get upset about progressive authoritarianism. When progressives legislate from the bench for decades because their unpopular ideas cannot be passed normally, true cons only run cover for them. Progressive judicial tyranny is not described as a threat to “our democracy.” For the true cons, overturning the ancient definition of marriage by judicial fiat is not “authoritarianism,” but a blessing of liberty.

  12. Brooks was dazzled by the ideology that defanged and emasculated the white men he so feared; a system of self debasement that prevent the white men who might notice the scams of the Tribe and brutality of the Blacks. Here in Conservativism he had found the elixir of Judeo-Cuckservatism. He was in love.

  13. David Brooks would have the old man’s next of kin believe that we are the ones who murdered him.

    Excellent. Also quite true. Not only would Brooks lie to the next of kin as he covered up the crime of his “associate and accomplice” hw would then urger the survivors to bow the ‘knee of forgiveness’ to the killer in the name of the Judeo-Christ – the Lord and God of his recently deceased “friend”, who has truly earned a Darwin award for listening the lies which spew from the forked tongues of (((Brooks))) and all like him.

  14. What makes truecons so laughable is they take a global empire rules by a criminal syndicate and slap on words like law, civic virtues, and worst of all “society.” It’s on the level of 2+2=5. Swine like Brooks have the luxury of believing it, or pretending to, because they are complicit in the corruption. As conditions deteriorate their precious illusions are shattered and the blame the people for noticing. Pigs.

    • Eat the Straussian bug-soup goy. Edmund Burke, Alexis de Tocqueville and St. John the Baptist (who was Jewish, btw!) would want you to.

  15. Is he talking about Edmund Burke? The guy who wrote Reflections on the French Revolution? I read that book and still have it. It was extremely antidemocratic. It was overtly pro-monarchy. Fascism and Communism would have been too democratic for Burke. Burke along with Thucydides described democracy as always ending with armed bands of men roaming the streets killing each other in the name of the people. That is exactly what happened in Athens and France and is happening here. When Thomas Jefferson went to France during the revolution they wanted to hang him because he told them they were too extreme. When I was reading it I kept asking myself “why do all those national review types always reference this? Burke would have hated them.” I assume they do it to impress people who have only a vague notion of who Burke was.

    Hunter, your blog has been fantastic all these years. Keep up the good work. I first discovered it after you commented on Stuff Black People Don’t Like right around the time he was getting started.

    • The Jews with their absolute contempt for the GOP goy voter believe that mentioning a few historical writers and events is sufficient to give their brazen Jewish chauvinism a fake patina of respectability.

  16. t is certainly true that the Right has been provoked into an incandescent state of rage in which “lib owning” and those who excel at it is the only metric that seems to matter, but these political and cultural arsonists and the way in which they wield power and delight in trampling on their fellow citizens are responsible

    Exactly. This is so well said. That’s why it bothers me when people in the movement get upset over “Owning the Libs,” because they don’t get why Right Wingers want to do it in the first place. They also falsely associate “Owning the Libs” with “Dems are da real raycist” or that old Charlie Kirk tweet about butt sex in Botswana (lol).

    Owning the Liberals is fundamentally about two things:

    1. Making them as personally miserable as possible. RadLibs are as neurotic as Jews. They are eternally unhappy and never at ease. Its a delight to make them wallow in their internal suffering, which they so richly deserve

    2. Marginalizing them and stripping them of the persuasive power they have over others. Power takes two forms: The physical, and the cultural. The former is the old monopoly on violence, which has forever belonged in the hands of government. The later is fought in the realm of emotional persuasion and consensus building.

    When White Nationalists make critiques like, “conservatism is just the tail that follows liberalism,” this cannot be fairly interpreted as a rejection of both, as the wording of it is disengenous at best and a lie at worst if the goal is to reject both. The phrasing/wording of that argument – which, in fairness, many of us first heard from the likes of Richard Spencer – is designed to convey the message that the Right does not sufficiently oppose the Left. That argument deeply resonated with me in 2013 and still resonates with me in 2021 and beyond.

    The thing that’s so outrageous about the Racist Radlibs in the moobment is that they don’t oppose any plank of the Left Wing agenda: Mass Immigration, Climate Change, Transgenderism, they support all of it. They just wish the muds would stay away from their AOC futuristic gaytopia where we all live in pods, eat bugs, and take jabs. Oh, and they want to dump all the Brown people on those hated conservative communities where Aunt Sally from Nebraska lives (Spencers words, not mine)

    Racist RadLibs have no place in White Nationalism and have no place in the world period. I really wish they would…you know…remove themselves.

  17. What would this creature say if someone spoke about his Jewish chauvinism being “pre-Enlightenment”?

    This Jew hates the heritage of Christian Europe, and he’s railing against European American Christians for daring to protest a little about those who would destroy their country while trampling on its heritage. Pretending to be a conservative with the name “Brooks” – pretending to seriously admire Edmund Burke (while writing a senior thesis on Robert Ardrey “Early life” “Brooks” early life!) – that was never going to work in the long term. The jig is up, a “Burkean” conservative’s son doesn’t join the IDF.

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