It is clear to most that there is a definite bias within academia and the media against all heterodox beliefs, including, but not limited to, conservatism. As time has progressed, the voices on both sides of the debate have become increasingly more polarised, the “Right” has become ever more disillusioned with itself and adopted a terrible character in which it self-identifies as “victimised.” This has proved to be nothing other than a hindrance to the cause which it seeks to advance. It is riddled in self-pity and lacking any conviction. It has enabled even the justest causes of modern Neo-conservatism to be side-lined and manipulated by pseudo-intellectuals into something it is most certainly not.
While it is an unquestionable fact that the liberal intelligentsia now dominates our culture and their teachings permeate through every facet of our society, they have not won the battle for civilisation. In fact; it is a solemn belief of mine; that victory could be ours, if only we were to reach out and take it. This will involve the nature of campus conservatism being forced to adapt. Many consistently lament the fact that the left dominates the top of our society and yet do nothing to implement the change they wish to see. The battle for our society will not be won in one fell swoop; This is not the age of Machiavelli in which regime changes happen quickly and swiftly. The battle will have to be a slow, tiresome and laborious process. It will be a process of minor pyrrhic victories and hard ideological refinement.
One of the key problems that plagues conservatism is that conservatives themselves refuse to loudly and proudly defend, or even state, what it is they stand for and against. This cowardice creates a social pariah around being a “conservative” as we become political delicacies, an abnormality, the strange, and the few. If conservatism is ever to become an accepted part of our society it will take a plethora of different voices and views to earn the right to a place in contemporary political thought. We here at The Burkean Journal could never even hope to truly represent the vast scope of ideological differences, so we need the few to become the many. For this is the only way to ensure a place within accepted political thought. While to identify as a conservative in modern Ireland is to essentially condemn oneself to a pseudo social-exile, we must not be afraid and we must not falter. If we do not challenge the mainstream and proudly stand by our beliefs we have no right to mutter protests under our hushed breaths.
This is a call to arms of sorts, a call to those who believe themselves to be “victimised”. Shake of the shackles of your self-imposed intellectual prison. The “Left” feels neither pity nor remorse at the fact you feel unrepresented in society. They will not change for you, and so it is up to you; to help begin the process that will enable us to implement the radical change that is necessary. Loudly and proudly proclaim your views, for this is a noble cause and requires a united front. Welcome criticism, welcome ideological attacks, for this will only serve to fine-tune your ideas and convince you of the necessity of your actions. While the abuse can prove difficult to deal with, and has broken greater people than we, it is merely temporal and temporary. Every man, woman, and child needs to be the change they want to see. When this becomes a fact, and not only an ideal, then it is safe to say we will be on the path to success. The path to a truly modern nation.
We as a movement will need to embrace all that Neo-conservatism encapsulates. The modernism with a hint of romanticism, the belief in the goodness of man, a conviction in the capitalist system, and the equality of all before law. With a dedication to truly western values, which protects those in need of protection, and empowers those who can best serve our society.
If we wish to change the world in which we live in; it will have to be done by the ordinary men and women of our country, not by politicians. The people will need to act upon the opportunities presented to them. Through everyday conversation and regular debates; we can use the tools given to us by the regressive-liberal regime to dismantle the society with which we so disagree. This is how change can and will be brought about, not through the tiresome conservative cry of “victimisation” and “oppression” at any sign of opposition. The way in which the modern conservative behaves and acts leads one to question how we will as an ideology, culture, and way of life ever succeed in shaping the world around us. If we as a people do not drop the pontifications and throw off the mantle of the “silent majority” then we will be forced to endure the ever increasing radicalism of the far left in silence. A silence in which we voluntarily dwell.
As a movement we need to learn from the successes of the left. The reason they dominate society is not merely because they shout, but because they shout the loudest. They dominate because they are not bound to conventional morality and being free from its constraints are free to do as they wish, not fearing condemnation. The likes of People before Profit, Antifa and associated groups are consistently and rightly condemned regularly for their most heinous acts of political censorship and violence. One can, to some extent, have an uneasy admiration; for their tenacity and commitment to their false cause. While I cannot stress enough the nastiness of the character of the members of these organisations, they have managed to create a core group of dedicated disciples who swear unfaltering loyalty to the books of false-prophets and madmen. This core group is loud, brash and arrogant. While I do not fear the red flag being flown from the GPO or Dáil Éireann anytime soon, it is important to see what we can learn and how we can improve where they have failed.
All this being said, it is with sadness that others and I upon the Burkean editorial board are swamped with messages which read along the line of “well done, agree with what you’re doing, but would never have the bottle to do it myself”.
Although I’m flattered (and in equal measures confused) at the thought that my fellow editors and I are somehow viewed as courageous, I believe that this admiration is misplaced. This in fact, perfectly exemplifies a sickness that is present at the very heart of conservatism. Everyone should stand up for what they believe in . In school we were repeatedly told “if it is to be, it’s up to me”It’s about time we all start putting that phrase into practice. As I have stated before, if the system is not consistently and regularly challenged then it is impossible for it to reform, impossible for us to ever reach the apex of culture and civilization, impossible to create and maintain an Ireland of which we can be proud. Would we have female suffrage, gay marriage and even an actual debate on abortion had people been too afraid and cowardly to break the conventions that so wrongly ruled their societies with an iron fist?
The people of this nation have a choice. They need to decide, do we value dissent and activism, do we value the rights of the individual, are we proud to be a democracy? If the answer is yes, then we as a people need to take to the streets regularly, we need to speak our minds freely and often, we must not be afraid to use our democratic rights to the fullest. If the answer is no, then new solutions need to be found, and found fast.
Remember that, united we shall stand, and divided we shall most certainly fall.