Andy opens his essay of August 16, 2019, with praise for Straussian Michael Anton as ‘brilliant, bespoke’ it might be a faux pas to call a man ‘chic’? Mr. Anton began his career, at least to my knowledge, with his The Suit: A Machiavellian Approach to Men’s Style under the pretentious non de plume of Nicholas Antongiavanni in 2006. Is this book the ‘root‘ of Andy’s use of the word ‘bespoke’? Andy begins his essay:
In the first year of the Trump presidency, I had a very pleasant dinner with Michael Anton, the brilliant, bespoke Straussian who went to work for Trump’s National Security Council for a while. I wanted to talk to him about reactionism, that streak in conservative thought that can become revolutionary in its hostility to modernity, but the conversation ended up sprawling far beyond that topic. Anton is something of an intellectual pariah — a Washington Post columnist wrote last year that “there is little reason to ever listen” to him — but he’s a pariah in part because he’s a reactionary with a first-class mind. And that’s why I often listen to him. He reminds me why I’m a conservative, …
Not to forget Anton’s essay of March 2016 under the pen name of Publius Decius Mus:
The Flight of 93 Election
But we can probably do better than we are doing now. First, stop digging. No more importing poverty, crime, and alien cultures. We have made institutions, by leftist design, not merely abysmal at assimilation but abhorrent of the concept. We should try to fix that, but given the Left’s iron grip on every school and cultural center, that’s like trying to bring democracy to Russia. A worthy goal, perhaps, but temper your hopes—and don’t invest time and resources unrealistically.
By contrast, simply building a wall and enforcing immigration law will help enormously, by cutting off the flood of newcomers that perpetuates ethnic separatism and by incentivizing the English language and American norms in the workplace. These policies will have the added benefit of aligning the economic interests of, and (we may hope) fostering solidarity among, the working, lower middle, and middle classes of all races and ethnicities. The same can be said for Trumpian trade policies and anti-globalization instincts. Who cares if productivity numbers tick down, or if our already somnambulant GDP sinks a bit further into its pillow? Nearly all the gains of the last 20 years have accrued to the junta anyway. It would, at this point, be better for the nation to divide up more equitably a slightly smaller pie than to add one extra slice—only to ensure that it and eight of the other nine go first to the government and its rentiers, and the rest to the same four industries and 200 families.
Will this work? Ask a pessimist, get a pessimistic answer. So don’t ask. Ask instead: is it worth trying? Is it better than the alternative? If you can’t say, forthrightly, “yes,” you are either part of the junta, a fool, or a conservative intellectual.
And if it doesn’t work, what then? We’ve established that most “conservative” anti-Trumpites are in the Orwellian sense objectively pro-Hillary. What about the rest of you? If you recognize the threat she poses, but somehow can’t stomach him, have you thought about the longer term? The possibilities would seem to be: Caesarism, secession/crack-up, collapse, or managerial Davoisie liberalism as far as the eye can see … which, since nothing human lasts forever, at some point will give way to one of the other three. Oh, and, I suppose, for those who like to pour a tall one and dream big, a second American Revolution that restores Constitutionalism, limited government, and a 28% top marginal rate.
But for those of you who are sober: can you sketch a more plausible long-term future than the prior four following a Trump defeat? I can’t either.
The election of 2016 is a test—in my view, the final test—of whether there is any virtù left in what used to be the core of the American nation. If they cannot rouse themselves simply to vote for the first candidate in a generation who pledges to advance their interests, and to vote against the one who openly boasts that she will do the opposite (a million more Syrians, anyone?), then they are doomed. They may not deserve the fate that will befall them, but they will suffer it regardless.
On the ‘Straussians’ and their intellectual apologists like Andy, the reader need only look to Nicholas Xenos’ book ‘Cloaked in Virtue’ for a telling expose of Leo Strauss and his mendacious, not to speak of politically self-serving, re-reading of the Philosophical Tradition!
Andy Divine has just commenced his latest encyclical! Of interest to readers is that Andy began as a Thatcherite, then ‘evolved’ into a Neo-Conservative, and finally became a Neo-Liberal. With the carefully recorded political enthusiasms along the way: of the racist Conservative Sociology of ‘The Bell Curve’ and the Iraq War, to name just two examples of his non-existent good judgement. I will stop here, as the I have reached the maximum number of unpaid views, and think that five dollars is too high a price to pay for Andy’s self-congratulatory chatter!