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Friday, July 03, 2020

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I'm going to have to be careful about writing quickly to you, Bill.

Part of my point was parallel to your criticism of Dreher's Benedict Option. There is no way to retreat into the desert, set up monasteries of truth, and be left alone. I mean, there may be for a while, but long term the left will come for them, too. So, as long as the left continues controlling the culture, retreat isn't an option (or, at least, eventually you're going to have to stop retreating). 90% of American television is leftist propaganda; the schools at all levels are infested by leftist teachers and administrators; I could go on citing examples of how the left have infiltrated almost every institution (Chad does), but I won't. This is the stuff that shapes young Americans' minds. (And you're not going to be able to defend the white house forever. Eventually, the democrats or a bow tie conservative will win. I mean, do you really expect the GOP to change so much over the next five years that you'll get another Trump? Or do you think it's more likely that in five more years it's going to go back to business as usual -- bowtie cons and Democrats?))

Re: the possibility of retaking the universities. I was suggesting that conservatives' position is more like communists' when communists first started taking over the universities before the October Revolution. They managed starting from that. Why can't conservatives starting from the current situation?

More later. I ought to account for the demographics those Fox ratings you cited suggest. The situation may be happier in the U.S. than, say, England, where people no longer seem to grow up into conservatives as they did for most of history, or few do, anyway.

In the meantime, help me out. What cultural institutions does the American right have left to resist the left with? It looks like you're in the full throes of Gramscian cultural revolution.

I hear a lot of tough talk from American conservatives, but when it comes to strategy almost all I hear is retreat dressed up in clever words. For example, Chad's suggestion to sacrifice the universities and retreat into the desert. For example, people with positions in the Catholic church leaving because it's too leftish when they're precisely the ones in a position to fight back. What is your endgame? Have you read Gramsci? (Bill: You've read everything. So you've read Gramsci. I'm using "you" as a second person plural pronoun for "American conservatives" here.)

It was Malcolm Pollack, not Chad, who listed the institutions the left has conquered. Sorry for the mix up.

>>What cultural institutions does the American right have left to resist the left with?<<

'Cultural institutions' is not quite the word. But here are some 'forces' on our side:

1. Talk radio. It is dominated by conservatives. Does the Left have anything on the AM band?

2. Fox News dominates the cable ratings.

3. All sorts of print and Internet outlets. City Journal, et al.

4. An army of conservative bloggers. Even low-level bloggers like me have influence when we keep at it year after year. It has a ripple effect.

5. Civilian militias and motorcycle gangs. Numerous Antifa-BLM demonstrations have been strangled in their cribs by these hard boys.

6. The NRA. This outfit played a significant role in the election of DJT.

7. The home schooling movement which, I would guess, is growing.

8. The 'silent majority' that will show up to vote.

9. The stupidity of leftists who threaten the law-abiding and radicalize them. The average Joe realizes that, after all, there is a very good reason to own a semi-automatic rifle . . . . Instant red neck!

>>2. Fox News dominates the cable ratings.<<

Does this account for online news watchers? Most people I know under 40 and some over 40 watch television on computers, not televisions.

>>3. All sorts of print and Internet outlets. City Journal, et al.

4. An army of conservative bloggers. Even low-level bloggers like me have influence when we keep at it year after year. It has a ripple effect.<<

What action is being taken to bring about the things written about? For example, Chad writes about setting up conservative schools. What practical steps is he taking to create those schools? Conservatives are very good at talking and writing. Part of the genius of the left is its ability to get people to do more than watch programs and write.

You raise some important points, Nicholas. We can't be just all talk. But talking is an essential first step, and one too many conservatives are afraid to take.

And it is possible to still have your voice herad in academia even if you're not "in" academia. Bob Fischer's recent Ethics volume has been very popular since its publication last year, and I have gotten encouraging feedback from professors and students who read my defense of conservatism in that book.

Beyond that, as Jordan Peterson often says, we need to get our own house in order before we try to go out and change the world. I think every conservative should be homeschooling at this point. The public schools are progressive propaganda centers from k1 through university. That is also true of many private schools. As the home goes, so goes the culture.

One other thing I've done in these past few years is host a "workshop" at my home for a handful of close friends where we give each other feedback on our current work. I hope to keep doing this.

These are small steps, but important ones nonetheless.

Good response, Chad.

Speaking out in public is action or at least a preliminary form of it.

And yes, home-schooling is important, and the single most important thing people with children can do.

>>These are small steps, but important ones nonetheless.<<

Enough small steps can cover the same ground as large steps -- if there are enough.

And I assume that the end goal is something like BV's "political equivalent of divorce". As someone whose main interest in the U.S. is as a freedom-loving counterbalance to more despotic country's like China, I'm a bit disappointed. I don't think a partial, post-divorce America will be able to fulfill that role. But I've suggested to friends that if things are as far gone as some commentators suggest -- if the left is as far along in its takeover as they suggest -- we're likely to see a split between woke and sane along national lines sooner or later, and that they ought to seriously consider moving to and supporting countries that aren't woke and still stand a chance at resisting becoming woke. So, I can't seriously complain about Americans employing a similar strategy within their own country.

Good luck, gentlemen.

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