On New Right Conservatism, Reactionary Violence, and Right Wing Ressentiment.
New Right Conservatives and right-wing Christians are now falling and stumbling all over themselves and their rhetoric, and embarrassing themselves, in a vain attempt to achieve some political and moral distance from nativist, right-wing terrorist Anders Behring Breivik.
They are not being all too successful at that.
At the conservative National Post, columnist Jonathan Kay pleaded with the headline: “Don’t let Breivik poison our politics“. It was a fair and sober article. I would have liked it, had it been timely and not post hoc and after the fact. Mr. Kay’s untimely plea came just too late and was for that reason a bit disingenuous and insincere.
The fact is, mainstream “New Right” Conservatism has already been poisoned, infected, and compromised by reactionary ideology and rhetoric, now being belatedly recognised in the mainstream conservative press. It had already become too toxic and infected with pathological reactionary ressentiment before Mr. Kay discovered conservative political rehab and the traditional virtues of sobriety and prudence after Breivik’s murderous rampage. His special pleading comes far too late in the game to make much difference, or even to appear sincere.
Where was he before Breivik? His efforts at conservative soul-searching have so far seemed to me quite inadequate, although appreciated. It’s a bit self-servingly hypocritical and malodorous for conservatives to now plead for a detoxification of our democratic politics post-Breivik after they’ve already collected the political interest on their public investment in toxic and poisonous right-wing rhetoric.
I have entitled this post “On New Right Conservatism, Reactionary Violence, and Right-Wing Ressentiment.” Latterly, I suddenly realised I had laid out the same triune pattern in my title as is given for the three evils described in Buddhism — correspondingly: greed, malice, and delusion.
The Worm Turns: Multiculturalism versus Clash of Civilisations
If you are confused about what is going on at “the end of history” (and I don’t blame you for being confused), I’ll attempt to summarise it briefly.
The contentious issue and controversy between what is today spuriously called “the left” by reactionaries, and what is called “the right” (somewhat false also) revolves principally around the concept of what is called “multi-culturalism,” (but which should really be called “inter-culturalism”). The reactionary right or so-called “patriot community” detests multiculturalism as liberal/marxist/feminist conspiracy to promote a contamination of an alleged “purity” of Western values and civilisation through “colonisation of immigrants” (or “illegal aliens”). This hatred of multiculturalism as a contamination of a supposed principle of purity is what drove Breivik to his murderous attack.
It also informs the whole stupid “birther” mania in the U.S.
(In some ways, Breivik wasn’t really all that far removed in his mentality from the deranged base commander in the satirical Kubrik movie Dr. Strangelove who engineered an attack on his own country in order to incite a war with Russia for the sake of preserving his “precious bodily fluids” from ideologically polluting and contaminating influences. Once again, reality seems to imitate art).
What you do not often hear from new right conservatives is their ideological preferred commitment to the “clash of civilisations” scenario, originally proposed by the nostalgic and reactionary conservative Cold Warrior Samuel Huntington in a book by that title. Huntington believed that Americans (and the West generally) after the fall of the Soviet Union needed a new enemy and existential threat in order to define themselves and construct a renewed sense of moral identity — and, coincidentally, justify the power elite and military industrial complex that emerged during the Cold War, and which paid him handsomely for being such a loyal Cold Warrior pundit and savant de service).
This geo-political and cultural “clash of civilisations” is culture war or “Kulturkampf” (the ominous Nazi term for same). In the deranged and demented thinking of most “new” conservatives, multiculturalism is interpreted as a surrender of Western civilisation and paranoid “stab-in-the-back” conspiracy by nefarious liberals/marxists/feminists/homosexuals/environmentalists (they are all paranoically and delusionally conflated and inflated as being the same existential threat) at the frontlines or faultlines in the clash of civilisations scenario.
Most of this thinking about the “clash of civilisations” is anxiety-ridden delusional paranoia and ethno-narcissistic babble… the chief characteristic also of Breivik’s narcissistic manifesto, in fact. However, enough of this dementia and ethno-narcissist baffle-gab has gone mainstream to shape and inform what is now called reactionary “new right” conservatism, which is nationalist and nativist (the so-called “patriot community”) and obsessed with an alleged historical racial and cultural purity which never existed at all. It is merely fantasist.
The reactionaries want to preserve defined boundaries and also value fault lines between traditions and cultures, which is increasingly hard to do in the Global Era. This is true of both the reactionary Muslims who fear being contaminated by Western decadent values as well as Western nativists and nationalists who fear being contaminated by Muslim values through immigration.
In other words, conservative reactionaries like Breivik with other Euro-centric neo-fascists, and Muslim conservative reactionaries like Osama bin Laden share an identical and indistinguishable ideology at “the end of history”. I hope you appreciate how deranged the thinking of both mentalities actually is, for they are identical.
Reactionaries don’t want the prospect of an harmonious planetary civilisation to succeed in the Global Era. They even deny the entire fact that we even live in a global era since the First World War. What reactionaries delusionally call “the left”, against whom they via negativa narcisstically define themselves and their identities, are those who are attempting to midwife and facilitiate a peaceful transition to a new planetary civilisation appropriate for a post-modern Global Era, via an intensive and immediate intercultural cultural dialogue about values.
But an intensive, honest, and open dialogue about values is precisely the thing that reactionaries do not want, insisting that their own traditionally received values are “absolute” (except for themselves, when “absolute values” suddenly become pragmatic and relative). This is dissembling hypocrisy and bad faith, as none of them actually conform to or even observe their own ostensible “absolute” values, although insisting that others do.
That’s it in summary. However, “liberal” multiculturalism versus “conservative” clash of civilisations scenarios as alternative prospects and possible futures for the Global Era are both seriously flawed, and in some cases even deranged. Breivik proves that. They are both seriously flawed owing to one unconfessed and denied problem shared by both orientations. That is, the fact of of human narcissism, which infects them both and about which both are in denial.
I’ll account for that factor later.
2 responses to “On New Right Conservatism, Reactionary Violence, and Right Wing Ressentiment.”
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- 17 August, 2011 -
the source is one.humanity is one.we are heading toward oneness under the one. the oneness of truth.donot let the liars derail you from the path of truth. i am not confused.the everpresent power is there to guard those who pursue the path of truth. during your retreat i was in bagdad reading the story of demolishing a country by liars of all sorts. do you think there is no program that runs this universe.do you think there is no rules and regulations. do you think we all die and bads are equated with good.