In the current issue of the European Conservative, Edwin Dyga talks about the failure of former Prime Minister Tony Abbott to achieve lasting conservative change while in office despite some promising moves.
The article is on page 12 of the linked print edition.
Conservative politicians, if they are to distinguish themselves from ideological progressivism, must understand that they are fighting a cultural guerrilla war — one in which responding with gentlemanly virtues to outright bastardry will be seen as a sign of weakness and treated accordingly; one in which an attitude of ‘fair play’ in the face of Alinskyite agitation will inevitably lead to defeat; one in which alleged opposition to the left must be proven by a fundamental repudiation of the opponent’s worldview; one in which militant calls for apology when that worldview is offended should be laughed at, not accommodated; one in which explicitly rightist reforms and tangible moves to dismantle institutionally entrenched leftist ideology should be pursued aggressively and without compunction; and one in which the core electoral base should never be treated with contempt, even when strategic compromises need to be made to effectively implement reforms.
Failure to understand this will reduce conservative politics to the preservation of the left-liberal status quo, and render conservative politicians little more than seat warmers for those sitting opposite and fundraisers for their programmes. Likewise, conservative voters’ failure to keep their ‘representatives’ accountable has—and will continue—to produce Thomas Carlyle’s ‘phantasm captains’ instead of the leaders we expect.
Indeed, until we make it clear that our votes need to be earned, conservatives will deserve the leadership that they routinely and blindly reward.
While men of the left may recognise similar pathologies of unprincipled opportunism infecting their political culture, the underlying liberal assumptions across the political spectrum renders them, and not conservatives, more capable of ideological advance by default. The status quo is always progressive. Swimming against the current, men of the right must recognise that a lack of militancy will serve only to reinforce this leftward drift. It is not enough to simply declare this protest as political naïveté on the part of disenfranchised traditionalists who do not understand the need for compromise. The brutal and too often ignored fact is this: resigning to and working within a paradigm that systematically favours a left-liberal order defeats the very reason why one would be involved in centre-right politics to begin with.
Those who do not understand this have no business being in politics, and should certainly not expect the support of conviction conservatives at the ballot box. Perhaps the only option left to the largely disenfranchised romantics of the right is to refuse to participate in the present mediocrity, hoping (perhaps vainly) that our votes may be courted by politicians of greater fortitude, who actually value those votes, in the future. The alternative is to continue down the same path of incremental defeat: an unsustainable and therefore unacceptable option for those who reflect on the present political wasteland with growing and bitter revulsion.
‘Growing and bitter revulsion’ is the likely fate of any right-thinking person who becomes involved in electoral politics.
There’s a growing break in the English-speaking world between political factions as both sides recognize that neither really wants to coexist with the other peacefully.
Mt Isa Miner says
Yes, Abbott’s defeat was the last straw for me and mine. Left and Right have no meaning anymore. It’s either Gengis Khan or Galt. Numbers mean it has to be Galt.
Nikolai Vladivostok says
Tony Abbott failed because he had no sense of strategy and refused to listen to reasonable advice. Politics is the art of the possible. If you want to balance the budget, you need to plan gradual spending cutbacks over the entire term in office and be prepared to fight like a tiger in the media to justify the changes. You also need a plan for getting the changes through parliament. Abbott’s strategy was just, ‘I’m right so everyone should agree with me’. And we saw what happened.
Anyway, Abbott was totally rusted on to the US alliance and accompanying neocon agenda of endless war. If the US will not right itself, it’s time to jump off that sinking ship.
Mark Citadel says
Australia is sliding into Euro-style Liberalism. There is no preventing it. The seizure of all guns probably marked a turning point at which there was no going back, no will to really fight for anything. Scary how fast these things happen, but once the Left smells blood in the water, they go for gold.
The guns thing is American bias & history applied to the Australian situation. As an event, it was an irrelevancy. Simple history: we’re born a penal colony, and are used to only the guards having guns. We’ve never had a rebellion that lasted more than two weeks. We lack the foundational need for guns that those in the U.S. possess.
That said, the thrust of the article itself is quite correct. Abbott had the capacity to stand in opposition, and when the day was done to continue to stand. Yet he did not possess the wherewithal to grab the bull by the horns and make the changes
that needed to be made.
The deeper truth is that even had he done so, it wouldn’t have changed anything in the long run. The changes would have all been undone in short order, and the country proceed as if nothing had happened.