Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Why I am a Conservative
Stacy McCain has a great essay on the horrors visited on people by "progressives" and Liberal philosophers.
What is remarkable is the extent to which French intellectuals have caused this endless tide of human misery.“We are not the converts of Rousseau; we are not the disciples of Voltaire; Helvetius has made no progress amongst us. Atheists are not our preachers; madmen are not our lawgivers. We know that we have made no discoveries, and we think that no discoveries are to be made, in morality; nor many in the great principles of government, nor in the ideas of liberty, which were understood long before we were born, altogether as well as they will be after the grave has heaped its mould upon our presumption, and the silent tomb shall have imposed its law on our pert loquacity.”— Edmund Burke, 1790
Burke’s insight into the fundamental error of the French Revolution — its inspiration by such philosophes as Rousseau and Voltaire — could be extended to every “progressive” movement ever since.The modern Cult of Progress, the characteristic “presumption” of the intelligentsia in their belief in their own superiority, has repeatedly afflicted humanity with enthusiastic schemes for political, social and economic change. Always these innovations require us first to destroy “hitherto existing society” (to quote the Communist Manifesto), and to entrust our future to the control of elites. Always the result is the same. From the Reign of Terror in revolutionary France to the Bolshevik Terror in revolutionary Russia, from Kristallnacht in Germany to the “Great Leap Forward” in China to the “Killing Fields” in Cambodia, the path of “progress” is a trail painted in blood, littered with the corpses of those murdered or starved to death for the sake of political theories.
The French revolution was followed by the Terror, followed by Napoleon Bonaparte who plunged Europe into decades of war which left between 3 and 5 million people dead.
The "philosophers" who followed the French model managed to kill about 100 times more. Many in "peacetime." It's this thing about breaking a few eggs to make an omelet.
One of the most satisfying things about the French Revolution is the death of Robespierre.