For an organization that has a message that supposedly is able to transform the world, the American Right has certainly proven to be completely incapable of recruiting and training cadres of true believers who are willing to go out and spread the message.
I was aware of this five decades ago. In my opinion, not much has changed.
Yes, there have been political activists. There is a cadre of people who, for fat salaries supplied by trusting political donors, will work to get some compromising suit elected. The suit will then sell out the trusting donors.
Has anything fundamental changed in Congress since the election of Lyndon Johnson? Yes. The government’s debt-to-GDP ratio has grown.
This is just about all the American Right has to show for the billions of dollars spent to elect Senator Snort and his peers.
Do the words “rat hole” ring a bell?
A good working definition of “insane” is this: “Continuing to do something that has not worked in the past, on the assumption that it will work this time.”
This proverb comes to mind: “A fool and his money are soon parted.”
I am therefore not talking about paid political activists and the “public servants” who rely on them to grab the brass ring of illusion. What is the illusion? This: “The American people want a major change.” And this: “The federal bureaucracy, which possesses tenure on the basis of the Civil Service Acts of 1883 and 1978, can be re-shaped by a new Congress.”
Significant social change does not begin with national politics. It begins with a worldview that applies socially, beginning with individual minds, and spreading to voluntary associations: families, churches, schools, charitable associations, and so forth. This was Adam Smith’s view in 1776. It was Edmund Burke’s view. The founding economist and the founding conservative were friends and allies. He and Smith were in almost complete agreement. It was Alexis de Tocqueville’s view in 1840 (Democracy in America, Volume II, Chapter XXVII).
The political associations that exist in the United States are only a single feature in the midst of the immense assemblage of associations in that country. Americans of all ages, all conditions, and all dispositions constantly form associations. They have not only commercial and manufacturing companies, in which all take part, but associations of a thousand other kinds, religious, moral, serious, futile, general or restricted, enormous or diminutive. The Americans make associations to give entertainments, to found seminaries, to build inns, to construct churches, to diffuse books, to send missionaries to the antipodes; in this manner they found hospitals, prisons, and schools. If it is proposed to inculcate some truth or to foster some feeling by the encouragement of a great example, they form a society. Wherever at the head of some new undertaking you see the government in France, or a man of rank in England, in the United States you will be sure to find an association.
This is the Western liberal tradition. It is also the Western conservative tradition. It has been abandoned. In its place has come the Progressives’ political tradition: salvation by politics. This is the religion of our age, all over the world. Until it is abandoned, there will be no significant political change. It will be business as usual: crony capitalism, tenured bureaucracy, deficit spending, central banking, unfunded liabilities, Medicare, Social Security, and the public schools.
How do we persuade the next generation to abandon all this? First, by pulling our children out of the public schools. Change starts with families. No more trying to reform the public schools by political action. That merely confirms the political religion of our age. That is more of the same. We need a bumper sticker slogan, and we need to adhere to it: Replacement, not capture. Second, we need to train up a cadre of dedicated people who understand this slogan, and will commit their lives, their fortunes, and their honor to implementing it.
In short, we need a hard core hard corps. We need a cadre.
GEOGRAPHY AND THE CADRE
In recruiting and training people, there has to be a specific geography and a specific recruiting and training program that is independent of geography. Both are necessary. This has not been understood by the leaders of the American right.
The political activists have understood, which is why they want their organizations either inside the Beltway or in New York City. The neocons have dominated both. They came out of New York City initially, and they came to Washington with a lot of money that was generated by people who still lived in New York City.
(For the rest of my article, click the link.)