Conservatism is the new punk rock

Mark Bauerlein joins the ranks of genuine intellectuals standing up for the centre and the right against an increasingly radical left.

Once upon a time, the left had big ideas and great thinkers. Admittedly, not all the ideas were good, but now all the left has is infantile rage and childish resentment. Conversely, the right and especially the centre are seeing a resurgence of big ideas and great thinkers. Sure, there?s no shortage of hucksters like Stefan Molyneux, but there are also the likes of Jordan Peterson, Douglas Murray, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Bettina Arndt in the centre, and Ben Shapiro, Peter Hitchens, Thomas Sowell, John Bolton and more on the right. Agree with them or not, these people are thinkers, not just shouters of resentment and groupthink.

Now there?s Mark Bauerlein to add to the list. Quote:

Where to start with Mark Bauerlein? He is a thinker whose time has come. He?was a Left-liberal for most of his life; a secular, militant atheist, too. He grew up in California, after all.

Then he looked around at the people, the ideas, the predictability and grew bored. So he read other stuff, found the locus of freedom in conservative thought. End of quote.

Conservatism really is the new punk rock. Milo and Trump are its stars. Quote:

?Guilt is the strongest sociopolitical weapon the Left has had for 50 years. And it didn?t work on Trump. He has no male guilt, no white guilt, no Christian guilt, no American guilt, he?s not going to apologise for anything because he doesn?t feel guilty.?

?The Left has a long history of provocateurs, comedians, performers who trash the Right?Milo did the same. Only he aimed at the Left. He made people laugh at the feminists, at Hillary (Clinton). He took their weapon and they couldn?t bear to lose it.? End of quote.

Bauerlein argues that it has become pointless to try and reclaim the academy from the left. The Long March through the institutions has won that battle. Quote:

?[The Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation] asked for this little tiny piece of ground in this big university, just a little sliver for us to do our Western civ thing. Uhhh. No, said the activists. We?ve got 100 acres and we?re not going to give you a square foot. We don?t want you around.

?They know where these kids are going if they have the choice between a course on queer theory and cross-dressing or a course on Macbeth or King Lear?[Identity politicians] know they can?t compete with the colossus of civilisation, so they?re not gonna give you anything. These are not pluralistic souls, these are minor league totalitar?ians.

??[Identity politicians] suffer from this condition that Nietzsche brilliantly identified as ressentiment, the French term for resentment?a general attitude towards the world. They resent great things. Greatness makes them feel their own mediocrity. They don?t believe in heroes because heroes remind them of their inferiority.?

?People with ressentiment want to tear down heroes and statues.? End of quote.

If the battle for the academy has been lost, the best strategy is a flanking manoeuvre. Brilliant online journalist Tim ?TimCast? Pool has shown how the right is winning the online media war, despite the best efforts of the left to shut them down. Quote:

But there is hunger among students to learn about our colossus civilisation. Bauerlein mentions other platforms, podcasts, YouTube, new ways for teachers to reach kids about the strength of our great ideas. End of quote.

Having lost the humanities in the academy to the left, it is nonetheless important that the right don?t abandon them altogether. Like H. G. Wells? Artilleryman in The War of the Worlds, sneering at novels and poetry “swipes?, many on the right spruik STEM as the be-all and end-all. Yet, as Jordan Peterson has shown, there is much to be learned, and a hunger to learn from the humanities. Quote:

?History is a permanent instruction in original sin. But kids don?t get that instruction.

?A 21-year-old social justice warrior hasn?t read (those essays by ex-communists in) The God That Failed, or Whittaker Chambers?s Witness, they don?t know what Stalinists did in the Spanish civil war, they don?t know about the assassination of Trotsky or what happened in the French Revolution.

??The great books give you standards of judgment that enable you to filter the good from the bad, the relevant from the irrelevant, the significant from the insignificant.

?It?s really good to have read Plutarch or listen to Mark Antony?s speech over the death of Caesar, or to know the great orators of the past; they give you standards of how to judge the orators of the present, how bad they are. This is what humanistic learning does, it gives you a critical yardstick.? End of quote.

History and the great books also show that the West really is the best. The freedoms that the left use to trash the West are all western ideas. Quote:

?Do you think [freedom] came out of thin air? Someone had to develop these ideas. Cultures had to say this is a good idea, and there weren?t many that did that. One of them was Athens. Another was Rome under the republic before the emperors took over. Someone did this. And it can be undone very easily.? End of quote.