WX: Deep Freeze

Conservatism is stuck in an amygdalic freeze.

We have not run, but – with only a few exceptions – neither have we fought. We have struck a pose and the wind has changed.

Part of why I believe Conservatism is frozen, is due to our narrow focus on occupying the Peak of Moral Righteousness.

Justifiably proud of the underlying tenets of Conservatism, we have sought to occupy a height from which we can gaze upon the as-yet-unenlightened. This is natural. We have not been satisfied with any height, however. Ignoring the peaks which could have delivered a clear vision and the opportunity to spread our values, we convinced ourselves – call it pride, ego, hubris – that only the very highest peak was acceptable. With passion, ambition, and excitement, we gained a foothold on the Peak of Moral Righteousness, and planted our flag.

Unfortunately, our state of mind during the ascent blinded us to the conditions our destination held. For once we caught our breath and patted ourselves and each other on the back for being ‘first’ we realised that not only was our peak surrounded by cloud, completely obscuring our vision in all directions, but at such an altitude, the percentage of oxygen in the air was greatly decreased. This lack of oxygen affected not only our cognition – our ability to reason, analyse, make decisions – but also our senses. We saw and heard things that did not exist; comforting acknowledgements that we HAD made the correct decision, and now that we had reached our destination, merely being a member of the tribe occupying the Peak of Moral Righteousness was enough. Though we cannot see or hear or communicate with those below us, we can feel secure in the knowledge that THEY can see and hear us. All we have to do is remain here, and in time, the unenlightened will realise that we are the LIGHT. They MUST KNOW that we exist. Our omnipotence and omniscience inform us so.

We put our faith in saviours like President Trump. We seek saviours who will rescue us, as against rescuing ourselves, rather than leaders. Leaders require followers who will ACT to implement a leader’s guidance.

We worship simplistic aphorisms such as that oft attributed to French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte – “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake” – as though uttering a piece of wisdom removed from context will assuage our guilt or shame at having nothing else to contribute.

The afore-mentioned aphorism, by the way, is profoundly misunderstood when used in the socio-cultural/political arena. Observing an opponent’s mistake – in any competitive scenario – will achieve nothing if the observer is not prepared to take advantage of that mistake. Inaction will allow the opponent to recover (if they are reasonably competent and their mistakes not terminal), perhaps re-engage more effectively, or flee the field without being annihilated. In which case, you will at some point, need to compete with them again.

What then, is to be done?

The first step must be an acknowledgement that we have not placed ourselves in a competitive position. Note the acceptance of responsibility. If we truly DO believe in what we claim, we are obliged to not only defend, but share and spread the same. A shield wall will not be an effective barrier if every second shield bearer is behind the ridge having a prolonged nervous urination. A quick glance back at the last several decades suggests that Conservatism has endured profoundly disruptive continence issues.

We must descend from our remote peak, to a position where we may see more clearly, think more clearly, and be heard more clearly. This does not require us to freefall into the abyss, shedding our values and senses of morality and ethics. These are foundational strengths that can never be discarded.

The possession of a height is only advantageous if it offers further opportunity to the possessor. At the moment, the enveloping clouds and lack of oxygen ensure we can not only NOT see clearly, think clearly, or share our values and beliefs, we are also unaware of what our opponents are doing. Despite convincing ourselves otherwise (that’s the altitude sickness talking), we do not know if they are building a wall below us, or tunneling into the peak to lay explosives and blow us into oblivion. If we DID know what they were doing, we would counter it, right?

Of course, there are always exceptions, as there are in this conservative freeze. Exceptions, however, are not enough. The occasional berserker is not enough if there is not a substantial effort made by others to take up the fight once the berserker is inevitably slain. (The role of the berserker is to gain time, not defeat an opponent single-handedly).

What is required is a radical RESHAPING of Conservatism. Not a reinvention, but a reshaping.

Conversely, we could remain where we are (gasping for oxygen), keep doing whatever it is we are doing (not winning, in any sense of that word), and become the subject of myth.

I saw an Abominable Conservative once. True story. Me and the blokes were camping, and …

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45 Responses to WX: Deep Freeze

  1. Rafe Champion

    What about a list of rules for conservatives along the lines of the rules for radicals?

    Back up your ball-carriers.
    Do your share of work in defence.
    Never let a prop forward kick the football!

  2. cohenite

    FMD; just act like the left. Get out and scream and bash. David Caute in The Illusion said if you’re reading this you’re doing nothing.

  3. Bruce of Newcastle

    At the base of everything is education. Schools teach full-on green-progressive propaganda and they don’t teach the mental tools needed to tell truth from lies. No righty teacher can survive in much of the school system, certainly not in the public sector – it’s a closed shop. And the curriculum controls what must be taught in other schools, even in home schooling.

    Unfortunately it’s going to be nearly impossible to deprogram the kids that have come through over the last couple decades. We see this in the LNP where there’s a large progressive cohort who wet their panties over global warming. A reasonable look at the data immediately shows that not much is happening, except the various cycles. Maybe a tiny bit of greenhouse warming, but quite innocuous. But to understand the real world data and to see through the faked-up data from the Left needs analytical skills that kids don’t get these days.

    And of course the same goes for Keynesianism, inflation (which the latest generation has never seen), defense policy, free markets and capitalism and the costs of obsessive regulation.

    I can’t see how a solid conservative political party is even possible in the morass of fakery that blizzards down upon us endlessly today. Relative conservative countries like Poland and Hungary only got to be that way after the Left was so discredited by communist totalitarian rule that the people could resist the leftist lies. They got an education…a painful one.

  4. RobK

    Those who would advocate for small government and self determination are generally fully occupied trying to cut out a living producing stuff.

  5. Roger

    What is required is a radical RESHAPING of Conservatism. Not a reinvention, but a reshaping.

    Before we embark upon this radical reshaping please tell us what the tenets of conservatism are in the first place, because I’m not sure you know.

  6. EvilElvis

    Conservatism to me is, do as you please but do not affect unconsenting persons or expect them to pay for your endeavours that you are solely responsible for on every level.

    Personal responsibility. No other people’s money. No restrictions.

    Start back from that simple beginning and work things out. It doesn’t need the complex thinking of the educated class who infest both sides of politics.

  7. Mak Siccar

    Bruce of Newcastle
    #3676404, posted on December 1, 2020 at 10:03 am
    At the base of everything is education.

    +100

  8. EvilElvis

    FMD; just act like the left. Get out and scream and bash. David Caute in The Illusion said if you’re reading this you’re doing nothing.

    Exactly. Throw away the crutch of morality and get busy getting dirty.

    As I incessantly bang on about though, most on this site expect a level of action from others that they can’t entertain in their social and day to day lives anyway.

  9. rich

    There are two problems with reviving conservatism:
    1. The desire for smaller government works against the interests of the establishments
    2. There is a fifth column of conservative traitors that would rather die on principal than fight to win

  10. Hoogan

    Bruce of Newcastle is right. Unless the public school system comes to an end, not much will change. Every “right-ish” political party needs to be fighting for a school voucher/credit system whereby money is not given to schools but to parents to decide which school they want their children to go to or to be kept by the parents if they intend to homeschool. Firstly, it will force the schools to compete against one another rather than result in a default setting. Secondly, it will end the control of the school system by the education union which has shown little interest in educating the populace in a manner that makes them work ready, resilient, and reflective but rather puts all its time into fighting the culture war. Little Johnny can’t read or write, but he can tell you all the different varieties of prophylactics on the market.
    Also, it’s an easy policy to sell. If the greens and the ALP oppose it (which they would because it will slow down their recruitment strategy) to coalition need only question why left wing politicians want school choice for themselves but want to prevent the poor and middle class from being able to send their children to good schools. That is, why do the left only want the rich to send their kids to good schools?
    Of course, the coalition is the dumb party, and things like developing a strategy, arguing for, or even articulating a policy is just too hard for most MP’s… I guess it’s just easier to cheat on your spouse with your taxpayer funded staffer and travel on Qantas business on the taxpayer dime then actually do the work your local party members who freely gave of their money and time expect of you.

  11. Roger

    Conservatism to me is, do as you please but do not affect unconsenting persons or expect them to pay for your endeavours that you are solely responsible for on every level.

    That is more akin to libertarianism.

  12. Zyconoclast

    Win at all costs (not fake Trump winning)

    Once power is secured, ruthlessly suppress, expel, destroy the enemy.
    Principles, niceness and respect only apply to you and yours.
    Institutions that cannot be redeemed must be destroyed and rebuilt from the ground up.

  13. Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)

    Conservatism is stuck in an amygdalic freeze.

    I had to look up this word, as no idea what it meant. The only definition was pertaining to almonds.
    er ok…

  14. Bruce

    Finally, someone else who “gets it”.

    Put simply:

    “Beware wishing for strong leadership, you may just get it, good and hard and often”.

    Or;

    “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamon Franklin.

    “No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature is in session.” – Mark Twain, 1866

    “Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty.” – Thomas Jefferson

    “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” – Goethe

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good, will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. ” – C. S. Lewis

    “Emergencies” have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have eroded. – Friedrich Hayek

  15. Roger

    The article seems based on the premise that conservatism is a political movement.

    It isn’t, or rather – it’s much more than that.

    If the “success” of the Prog-Left since 1968 has taught us anyting, it is that politics is downstream from culture.

    And that is where reinvigorating conservatism begins. But not with the general culture, but the microcosm and basis of culture – the family. The family must become a cell of resistance in an alien culture.

    That means marrying, having reasonably large families, educating children at home or in Christian academies – which are not the same as schools run by mainstream religious bodies – and eschewing the soulless materialism that lies at the dead heart of modern Western life. It means rejecting divorce as an easy way out of marriage. It also, most importantly, means keeping worldly things in perspective – the true end of man is not this world. But it doesn’t dictate isolation; rather, it comes with a call to be actively engaged in especially teh local community. People who live like this will become the salt that seasons the world. By that we avoid the idolatry that is the ultimate downfall of every society, or at least we’ll still be stadnign as teh world about collapses.

  16. Rorschach

    Republics inevitably end in empire. Who is America’s Phillip/Alexander or Julius/Augustus or Napoleon… ? But I can guarantee – it won’t be anyone from the conservative side of politics…

  17. Tom

    The only thing that’s changed since World War Two is that the enemy is now the enemy within, led by the losers who are ashamed of the success of our civilisation and therefore want to destroy it. The coming of the internet was the trigger that turned the malcontents into the fascist establishment, who we are now at war with — just like in World War Two.

    Our freedom from fascism lasted just 75 years.

  18. Herodotus

    How about this blog’s management starts to give the boot to anyone who appears here daily purely to be antagonistic, not to argue sensibly, and most likely only to degrade the environment.
    The Australian needs to do the same, but won’t.

  19. jo

    EvilElvis
    #3676410, posted on December 1, 2020 at 10:10 am

    Conservatism to me is, do as you please but do not affect unconsenting persons or expect them to pay for your endeavours that you are solely responsible for on every level.

    Personal responsibility. No other people’s money. No restrictions.

    Start back from that simple beginning and work things out. It doesn’t need the complex thinking of the educated class who infest both sides of politics.

    No rights without responsibilities.

  20. Rohan

    Herodotus
    #3676533, posted on December 1, 2020 at 12:20 pm
    How about this blog’s management starts to give the boot to anyone who appears here daily purely to be antagonistic, not to argue sensibly, and most likely only to degrade the environment.
    The Australian needs to do the same, but won’t.

    Oh, so control the borders. That’s not really a libertarian thing so prolly wont hapen…

  21. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Roger, that is a great list. Well worth discussing and covers all that conservatives stand for. Some would be unhappy without God coming first, but morality, tradition and belief seem to cover that well enough for agnostic me.Prudence had always seem to me to be a defining virtue.

  22. WX

    Roger.
    You may be correct that I misunderstand Conservatism. While that is an important debate, it digresses from the discussion I was hoping to stimulate: That while there is a place for ‘raising awareness,’ observers will never win if they choose not to participate.

  23. min

    Amygdala is the Almond shaped cluster perched above the brainstem near the bottom of the Limbic ring , one on each side of the brain and is the emotional sentinel according to Daniel Goleman in Emotional IQ . He posits that our emotions have been wise guides in the evolutionary long run but despite rules of life, emotional excesses overwhelm reason from time to time . We too often confront postmodern dilemmas with an emotional repertoire tailored to the urgent needs of the Pleistocene.
    Is it being suggested that conservatives are too rational with good EQ whilst those on the other side let their emotions run away with them ? Do we need more passion?

  24. Milton Johnson

    Can I suggest retiring the term conservatism. It is weak, relativistic and reactionary. Let’s get back to traditionalism and let’s remember from whence the terms left and right arose- it was the French Revolution. The left were those forces of revolution, discontent, novelty and passion whereas the right were the forces of logic, God, tradition, monarchy and groundedness.

    Conservatism is now basically liberalism and “liberals” are now communists. See how the Overton window shifts leftward?

  25. Yep, go into battle hard and dirty or go home.

    For example, the ABC is running scared, it’s only had a trifling amount of criticism, yet have you seen the physical and surveillance security that is now in place around their office sites?

    IMO it will only take a reasonably small but constant (and lawful) amount of physical agitation, just like the left uses, to see change in the ABC.

  26. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    Can I suggest retiring the term conservatism. It is weak, relativistic and reactionary.

    You most certainly can. Quite frankly, very few (if any) of the institutions we’re suffering under (since having been co-opted by collectivists) are worth “conserving”.

    Exhibit A: The ALPBC
    Exhibit B: The academy
    Exhibit C: The braindead lamestream meeja
    Exhibit D: Public schooling
    Exhibit E: The bureaucracy

  27. Herodotus

    Oh, so control the borders. That’s not really a libertarian thing so prolly wont hapen…

    If I recall correctly, Sinc only favours open borders if there’s no welfare money handed out to anyone.
    This blog has (for the most part) open borders, but at the same time too much largesse. Banning takes the pulpit off those who have shown themselves to be entirely unworthy.

  28. Epicurious

    Ƶĩppʯ (ȊꞪꞨV)
    #3676459, posted on December 1, 2020 at 10:58 am
    Conservatism is stuck in an amygdalic freeze.

    I had to look up this word, as no idea what it meant. The only definition was pertaining to almonds.
    er ok…

    More like a medulla oblongata (MO) freeze, that part of the brain that controls movement. Given all the talk about the SAS and General Shite in his Pants (GSIHP) I’m sure GSIHP would now prefer that his MO had frozen and had not moved his forked tongue for the past 6 months.

    I’m not a fan of Senator Lambie at all but I did laugh at her comment about heads up arses, now that’s real army not GSIHP.

  29. WX

    The amygdala has to with the Flight-Freeze-Flight response to perceived threats in humans. I’m sure the medically-trained among us will either correct me or be able to inform us more precisely of its role.

    My hypothesis is that Conservatism has been frozen in response to external threats for quite some time, and that this freeze has, in part, been caused by pride or hubris. When our opponents began presenting alternative options, we froze because we were unprepared. We have largely remained in that frozen pose, simultaneously lamenting the state of the world, yet assuring ourselves that all we as conservatives need do, is identify as conservative. The rest will sort itself out. A saviour will come, or our opponents will trip themselves up and magically leave the field.

    The lack of oxygen on our Peak of Moral Righteousness continues to feed our delusion. For as long as we remain there, we will continue to hallucinate, and our opponents will continue to make haste with our demise.

    Not happening, you think? Everything is fine? Leave aside the United States for the last four years, and consider what has happened in Australia: Cardinal P, Israel Falou, gay marriage, etc.

    It could be worse, right? After all, what can we do?

    What do you WANT to do?

    I could continue, but I suspect that many are comfortable with their delusions.

    Change the rules. Set the pace (make your opponent react to you). UNDERSTAND your opponent.

    Above all: GET IN THE RING! (Our opponents have been there for some time).

    If you think we are already in the ring, you need to stop drinking your own urine.

  30. WX

    min.
    No, I don’t think it is about passion. We have passion – we just don’t do much with it. The odd individual excepted of course. There comes a time in any competitive endeavour – sport, business, politics – where one must evaluate where one is in terms of goals or targets. If those have not been reached or exceeded, why not? What is working, and what is not working?

    I’m not presenting this because I have too much time on my hands, and I enjoy being an antagonist with random strangers I will never meet. My interest is in strategies and tactics in various areas of life. Every communication we have with another human is a negotiation. So much of life is competitive. How do my opponents (or potential opponents) in any field, operate? How might I respond?

    One cannot be passionate about someone or some thing, without being prepared to defend it, or act in its best interests. As love is a verb, so is passion and belief. I may not understand Conservatism as others do, but I feel passionate about what I think it is, what is possible, and how it is being threatened.

    We have the capacity to defend it against external threats, but for the most part, we choose not to. Why?

  31. WX

    I will qualify that only my first statement was directed to min. The remainder was general.

  32. WX

    Another clarification: What requires reshaping is how Conservatism is sold and how competitors/opponents are managed.

  33. WX, you should be done on the Geneva Convention for torturing that mountain metaphor.

    As several here have already hinted at, there is no conservatism as you understand it any more. Leftists are the new conservatives, after they captured most of the institutions. Right wingers are now reactionary, yearning to return to the past instead of conserving things they have now lost. The likes of Never Trumpers are indeed frozen, and that is because they have no room to move, caught between the castle wall of leftism and the bomb-throwing anarchists of the extreme right.

    There is no path forward for rightist conservatism. It doesn’t really exist.

  34. roman

    The British and other Europeans didn’t merely opine on potential colonies. Instead they: prepared, boarded ships, sailed, landed, took over, established and enforced their culture – because they considered it better. And it just so happened to be.

    All that success and over such a long time – has by now literally bred out the passion. – The epigenetics of comfort does not tend to breed fierce enforcers of the sublime truth. The topic of the decline of the classical West isn’t philosophical; it’s biological. We may as well ‘argue’ with the rain.

    If at all, it’ll come down to some out-lyingly spirited individials re-imagining a new future, who then also roll up their sleaves and _get it done_. If not then a submersion below more energetic peoples – who do not need to be wiser/ kinder/ more far-sighted; they will just need to show up.

  35. roman

    Oh it also depends on who’s having the babies.

    Actually, that’s pretty much all that matters. Either enforce a culture that supports families or, you know, kiss your culture good bye. Cos, you know, babies become people.

  36. WX

    What Conservatism is or is not, then or now, is being put forward as a smoke-screen in response to this topic. That and the conclusion the ship is going down (we haven’t looked to see if it is possible to avert a complete sinking, but it’s not worth the effort), so all we need do is loudly lament the experience (on this blog and elsewhere) with a thumb in our mouth and the other hand on our genitals (because it’s warm & comfortable), suggests that my hypothesis of amygdalic freeze may not be so far fetched. How many have realised that?

  37. Leo G

    What is required is a radical RESHAPING of Conservatism. Not a reinvention, but a reshaping.

    Just what we need- another Great Reset initiative.

  38. A Lurker

    All that success and over such a long time – has by now literally bred out the passion. – The epigenetics of comfort does not tend to breed fierce enforcers of the sublime truth. The topic of the decline of the classical West isn’t philosophical; it’s biological. We may as well ‘argue’ with the rain.

    I’d like to expand on this epigenetic point by suggesting that the best of us – the heroes, the bravest and the strong, those with the passion to get up and fight for our civilization were almost destroyed during the first and second world wars, and to a lesser extent, in the smaller wars that followed. Those genetic lines were greatly reduced through deaths on the battlefield.

    What we have left is a smaller hero gene pool to draw from, and those that remain are undermined and attacked from enemies within (e.g. what has happened to our armed forces these last two weeks).

    A new generation is needed – because those born into adversity, upheaval and conflict will become the new heroes.

    The role and responsibility of the older Traditionalist/Conservative is to hold in trust the best of our civilization and knowledge of the past in order to pass it on to the new hero generation.

  39. Roger

    What Conservatism is or is not, then or now, is being put forward as a smoke-screen in response to this topic.

    Er…no.

    To use a medical analogy – knowledge of what a healthy organ looks like is required before diagnosing a diseased organ and prescribing a treatment.

  40. Spurgeon Monkfish III

    the best of us – the heroes, the bravest and the strong, those with the passion to get up and fight for our civilization were almost destroyed during the first and second world wars

    The first world war is without a doubt the greatest disaster in human history – and without WW1, there would have been no WW2.

  41. Mitch M.

    WX
    #3676865, posted on December 1, 2020 at 6:00 pm
    The amygdala has to with the Flight-Freeze-Flight response to perceived threats in humans. I’m sure the medically-trained among us will either correct me or be able to inform us more precisely of its role.

    My hypothesis is that Conservatism has been frozen in response to external threats for quite some time, and that this freeze has, in part, been caused by pride or hubris. When our opponents began presenting alternative options, we froze because we were unprepared. We have largely remained in that frozen pose, simultaneously lamenting the state of the world, yet assuring ourselves that all we as conservatives need do, is identify as conservative. The rest will sort itself out. A saviour will come, or our opponents will trip themselves up and magically leave the field.

    The amygdalic freeze is not the problem. It is the exact opposite, the lack of an emotionally charged response. Too obsessed with being reasonable.

    The problem with conservatives is that they think logic and facts are enough. They don’t understand human motivation. Yesterday I watched a video of a philosopher arguing that one important message in post modernism is that facts are not enough. He gave the example of Greta Thunberg. She offered no new facts but an enormous emotional impact. That’s what conservatives don’t understand: emotions move the mob more than logic and facts.

    Trump is an example on the other side. He offered no new facts he just keep banging on about how bad the MSM was and how he would MAGA. All emotional stuff, that’s why his crowds were so large and that’s a major reason why he beat HRC because she came across as being logical and professional but also cold and distant.

    The conservative obsession demonstrating their intellectual oomph is irrational in the public sphere. Speak plainly, avoid the high falutin and often unnecessary if not pretentious references to some political philosopher or intellectual. 99% of people don’t give a shit about political philosophy. Follow Orwell’s dictum: if a common word can be used do so. See I can’t avoid pretentious referencing but screw you guys I’m going home! 😃 It’s take a long time to develop new rhetorical tactics but most conservatives won’t even bother because they are too busy thinking of the new obscure reference on university bookshelves to use in their next blog post or comment or letter to the editor.

    Aim for the heart not the head.

  42. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    Roger, that is a great list. Well worth discussing and covers all that conservatives stand for. Some would be unhappy without God coming first, but morality, tradition and belief seem to cover that well enough for agnostic me. Prudence had always seem to me to be a defining virtue.

  43. WX

    To use a medical analogy – knowledge of what a healthy organ looks like is required before diagnosing a diseased organ and prescribing a treatment.

    Roger, I’m not diagnosing the functioning of the organ itself, but rather how the functions and benefits of that (healthy) organ are promoted.

    To use yet another analogy: You appear to be writing of the ‘product’, while my interest lies in the marketing of the same (that product being Conservatism). I have assumed that the product is ready to hit the market (in which a need has been identified), and am asking: Who is responsible for marketing this product, and how will they go about achieving the sales targets? Part of marketing involves understanding any competitors in the same field: How can we target a competitors customers, and win them over to our product?

    If there are quality-control issues with the product, that is hugely important, but not the responsibility of the marketing department.

    If marketing is relying solely on word of mouth, using ineffectual messaging, or the product is still sitting in a warehouse gathering dust because the marketing department are either unwilling or unable to do their job …

    Perhaps I was not clear with my ‘reshaping’ comment. We HAVE the product. There IS a need in the marketplace. Where the ferret is the marketing department?

  44. WX

    Mitch M, you make a strong point in relation to human psychology. In the marketplace of ideas, our opponents understand people and their needs better than we do. However, rather than acknowledge that, and consider how to counteract it, Conservatism has continued using the same approach. Hence my ‘freeze’ hypothesis.

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