Some may be familiar with these remarks of the Reverend Robert Lewis Dabney on American conservatives:
This is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is to-day one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will to-morrow be forced upon its timidity, and will be succeeded by some third revolution, to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt hath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth, and has no idea of being guilty of the folly of martyrdom’ (‘Women’s Rights Women’, Discussions: Vol. IV, Secular, p. 496, available free at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7lvsb1aafgtuw4x/-8isso14X9/Books%20by%20Chapter/Discussions%20V4, accessed 15 March 2014).
This Southern farmer, theologian, philosopher, and soldier was not alone in condemning the conservatives of our age. Mark Hackard has found that the great Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky in his novel The Possessed (also known as The Devils or Demons) was much in agreement with him. Mr Hackard begins:
Fyodor Dostoevsky has rightly been called a prophet of the modern age. With a depth of vision unrivalled, he saw that cultural, political, and economic disorder have their main source in a crisis of the spirit. Dostoevsky then foresaw how man’s rebellion against the Transcendent would progressively accelerate into full-blown anarchy. This idea became a central theme of The Possessed, his great counter-revolutionary novel. Within the book particular attention was drawn to the spiritual corruption of the ruling class, the so-called conservative elements of society.
Dostoevsky wrote about
, but he was also deeply sensitive to the West’s descent into secularism. By the 19th century “enlightened” European man had hurtled headlong into apostasy, abandoning Christ for the worship of self; his first act of regicide was the murder of God within his heart. Without sacral authority, power was said to derive from the perfect will of “We, The People,” guided by moneyed manipulators and their technocrats. Parties like the GOP and the Tories have done nothing to arrest the decline of our societies because they ultimately share the same radical, anti-traditional principles of the Left. For evidence, look no further than Russia ’s rapid transformation into a crime-ridden, multicultural surveillance state, where the ruling Conservatives advance homosexual “marriage” as a matter of moral legitimacy. Britain
The ideals of modernity, manifested in progress, equality, democracy, total individual autonomy, etc. form a counterfeit religion. So long as the self-proclaimed Right holds fast to any of these fantasies, opposition to liberalism is meaningless and purely cosmetic. . . .
Source: ‘Dostoevsky on Conservatism’, http://souloftheeast.org/2013/02/01/dostoevsky-on-modern-conservatism/, posted 1 Feb. 2013, accessed 15 March 2014
The entire essay, which isn’t long, is very much recommended, as is Rev Dabney’s ‘Women’s Rights Women’.