Saturday, 9 October 2010
A comment on the secular right movement
In terms of tactics for success - the Christian right believes that there can be no real social recovery (or progress) without a Christian, supernaturalist basis - and therefore that the secular right is doomed to fail.
I think this is correct, and that the secular right is focused on alliance-building (between those on the right with diverse perspectives) almost precisely because it has no real, long-term prospect of building an effective political alliance on the basis of enlightened utilitarian self-interest (which is the underpinning moral basis of the secular right).
Enlightened utilitarian self-interest has - over the past few hundred years - turned-out to be a pitifully weak motivation - easily surpassed by feel-good secular moralism (from the left) and religious (but not necessarily or usually Christian) zeal from the right.
And of course, the secular right is continually subject to schisms and fragmentation - as under pressure it degenerates from utilitarianism to selfishness, and from enlightened self-interest to short-termist grabbing-what-you-can-while-you-have-the-chance.
(This attitude - sometimes in the form 'if you can't beat them, then join them' - is a very common motivation expressed in the comments on secular right sites - and which underlies the secular right's immoral interest in the subject of 'Game' - which is the self-serving title self-given by those who try to devise algorithms describing how to deceive women into supplying sex without strings.)
The secular right is, roughly, merely a collection of individuals who participate in the movement only to the extent that they find it amusing.
When the chips are down, and sanctions are looming, the individuals who constitute the secular right they will very seldom sacrifice themselves or their gratification to the well-being of the movement.
Indeed, many would regard the idea of self-sacrifice for the 'common good' as exactly the kind of social manipulation which they themselves are too smart to fall for. They regard themselves as being astute enough to see through that kind of imposed delusion.
At bottom, and with few exceptions, the secular right is made up of individuals who will only stay aboard the political movement for as long as it benefits them or makes them happier.
They are not driven by a sense of duty (which is common on the left), and only very few by a sense of vocation (which is the preserve of those who live by transcendental values).
And this is precisely why the secular right cannot (and therefore will not) thrive as a political movement.
(Adapted from a comment sent to Mangan's Miscellany - http://mangans.blogspot.com/2010/10/character-of-traditionalism.html )