IF Western society today is politically and morally corrupt, how do we live in it and yet not be of it? How do we resist it and not become engulfed by it? In a recent post at The Orthosphere, Alan Roebuck explains with characteristic clarity and insight how to resist and oppose liberalism without having to move to the backwoods and live in seclusion. The most important tasks are to acknowledge with brutal honesty the destructiveness of modern liberalism, to separate oneself inwardly from it and to support anti-liberal principles. Mr. Roebuck writes:
The origin and continuing source of the power to resist is your mind. This may seem obvious, but man has a tendency to jump too soon into the practical realm, and to let the practical define how he thinks. If you find that no significant practical and outward resistance is possible right now, you may be in danger of becoming demoralized. Therefore you must be equipped to understand and reject liberalism regardless of your environment. The necessary source and prerequisite of all of practical resistance are your mind and spirit.
And here is an extremely important point: “You must be anti-liberal, not just non-liberal.” He continues:
It is not enough to be non-liberal in the sense that you do not consciously think liberal thoughts or behave like a liberal. You must actively resist liberalism, or else you will either passively endorse it or actively embrace it. You must be anti-liberal, not just non-liberal.
You must be prepared to retain your spirits even when forced by external circumstances to make a show of going along with liberalism. Totalitarian regimes know that they can generally break the spirits of their opponents by forcing them make a public show of supporting the regime. But just as the Christian life begins with, and is always based upon, repentance and faith in Christ rather than outward actions, so the traditionalist resistor must first and always cultivate his internal opposition to the liberal order, an opposition based on his knowledge of the true, the good and the beautiful.
And if you are forced to make a show of going along with liberalism, see it as what it is: A show. Inwardly, you know liberalism is wrong, and you will not change your convictions to match your external behavior. Your behavior is just a pragmatic accommodation to transient circumstances. You do what you must to survive, and you choose when to fight and when not to, but you don’t give the Liberal Establishment what it wants most from you: your approval. [cont.]
—- Comments —-
Jesse Powell writes:
“You must be anti-liberal, not just non-liberal.”
This is very true. There are two basic positions one can be in; you are either liberal and becoming more liberal or you are conservative and becoming more conservative. It is necessary to be a radical, to commit oneself to a radical rejection of liberalism, to avoid the former category. To be a “non-liberal” doesn’t make sense because one either sees the evil in liberalism or one doesn’t; if one sees the evil then of course the response is rejection, not neutrality. To be neutral in response to evil is of course a form of acceptance of evil and is therefore evil itself.
If one’s starting position is liberal one will automatically tend to become more and more liberal over time because liberalism itself is inherently unstable and degenerative. The maintenance of liberalism requires a kind of parasitic theft from the resources and functioning capacity of the elements of society that are not liberal yet or are not as liberal because liberalism itself cannot support itself or maintain itself. This degenerative aspect of liberalism is what mandates that liberalism become more and more extreme over time.
If one is already conservative with a principled radical opposition to liberalism it must be remembered that one was liberal by default before one became conservative as one lived in the same liberal environment as everybody else before the revelation that liberalism is bad came in the first place. Such a new conservative with a starting point liberal background will need to spend a long time becoming gradually more and more conservative before reaching an optimum or stable level of conservatism.
I think of the part of society that is liberal and becoming more liberal as the Legacy Culture. The part that is conservative and becoming more conservative I call the God Revival. Even though one can convert from the Legacy Culture to the God Revival these two camps are radically separated from each other. They are by definition in conflict. It is true that liberalism often punishes or threatens to punish those who do not make a show of going along with the liberal order but as long as one knows within one’s own mind the game that is being played one can maintain moral integrity while at the same time going along with the crowd to avoid punishment. It is the internal commitment to stay loyal to the God Revival and to God that matters.