Quote note (#185)

After quoting Robert Frost on fences, Kevin Williamson (recipient of much reactosphere disparagement recently), notes appreciatively:

One has to admire the Burkean conservatism at work there: Confronted with the poet’s idealism, the flinty atavistic old farmer, ever mindful of the proverbs of his fathers, sets about rebuilding the damaged stone fence because it is there. Frost, it is worth noting, wrote “Mending Wall” some years before G. K. Chesterton (both men were born in 1874) published his famous advice to never knock down a fence until you understand why it was put up in the first place. […] The European Union is one of the great fence-demolishing projects of our times, and it is not without its merits. There are some persuasive arguments for governing the movement of European capital, goods, and people under a very liberal regime; and, given the unhappy history of Europe in the 20th century, there’s a heaping helping of idealism at work, too, and as William F. Buckley Jr. once observed: “Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive.”

I’m not imagining the fizzing cognitive distress here, surely?

September 18, 2015admin 13 Comments »


13 Responses to this entry

  • Frog Do Says:

    “Sweden likes to describe itself as a “moral superpower,” which is what you become when you don’t have the responsibilities that attend real power.”

    Now if only he could apply that reflexively, to the National Review itself and the conservative movement generally, there might be real progress.


    Gromboolian Reply:

    But Sweden is a moral superpower. Throughout the West Sweden is lauded, while Hungary is denigrated. Sweden’s international clout is vastly grown by its suicidal policies, regardless of any ill effects.


    Lesser Bull Reply:

    To what end? Sweden only gets to wield that moral clout in pursuit of moralistic proggy ends. It’s like a pie-eating contest where the only prize is more pie.


    Xoth Reply:

    Er, not even the Arabs listen to Sweden. For instance:


    So much for moral superpowers.


    Posted on September 18th, 2015 at 6:41 pm Reply | Quote
  • Quote note (#185) | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on September 18th, 2015 at 7:33 pm Reply | Quote
  • R. Says:

    Doublethink is a feature of the not-so-interconnected human mind.

    There is an interesting book on this, Kurzban’s “Why Everyone else is a hypocrite”.


    Posted on September 18th, 2015 at 8:04 pm Reply | Quote
  • Mark Minter Says:

    I read the linked piece, and he’s still pretty cucky. I am not familiar will all of Trumps foreign policy positions but I have not heard anything about seizing Iraqi oilfields. In fact what I heard was “George W made a massive mistake in invading Iraq”. I also heard “No Syrian refugees accepted by the US”. And the question to “what are we going to do?” is representative that this guy doesn’t have clue about what is really going on in the right. International stuff is so far down the list of what is going to happen compared to the concerns of the voters that will make a difference.

    Right now, the best policy about Syrian refugees is to do nothing, just as the Chesterton saying infers. You have no idea what the side effects will be. Europe has already destroyed the EU in just a couple a weeks, something that not even the worst economic crisis in 80 years could do. What is the point of staying in the EU for the average European citizen if their is no mobility between nations? That was point of pride to the Greeks for staying in, to not be stigmatized in Europe as some second tier nobody. Just the knowledge that a Spaniard could readily flow in Europe where their might be opportunity like an American might go from one state to another in search of work. And now that is all blown away, as a side effect, due to some idiot’s dream of universalism.

    Besides, Kevin’s days of being anybody that anyone will care about what he thinks are numbered. We are quickly coming up on October. The Iowa, NH, and SC primaries happen in Feb. Super Tuesday is Mar 1, and Trump will have a commanding lead in the GOP race. The GOP is about to be ours. KW better be sending out resumes to Rolling Stone and Buzzfeed because Outsideness is going to have a bigger voice in the future than NRO.

    In fact, the GKC saying is a massive metaphor and Kevin doesn’t seem to have a clue as to how deep that saying cuts in the alt-right. The immigrant displacement might indirectly be due to past conflicts, but the Camp of Saints migrations are due to misguided policies of EU countries that ended up with disastrous unintended side effects. And we have plenty of our own already. So the policy is the Sailer recommendation, “Stop Digging.” The fence means caution, extreme caution because there will be unintended side effects.


    Dark Psy-Ops Reply:

    Trump said he would put ‘boots on the ground’ and ‘just take the oil’ near the Islamic State – http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/aug/10/donald-trump-islamic-state-put-boots-ground-take-o/

    One of the points on which I am an orthodox Moldbuggian is in my preference for the term ‘pwned’ as a description of democratic delusion rather than ‘cuck’, which doesn’t seem to have an anti-democratic slant at all. Trump’s enemies may be cucks en masse but Trump’s supporters are still pwned democrats (and yesterday’s Cathedralists). Imagining Outsideness as a major pundit for a Trump-led democracy is abstract horror at its finest.

    Kevin Williamson is looking at the destruction of the EU as a wasted chance rather than a liberating victory, and I don’t blame him. Just because people are too stupid for modernization doesn’t make that a fact to be celebrated. The major tragedy of our day is not globalizing liberalism per se but its horrible failure modes.

    Much of the anti-immigration panic sounds to me like a lot of white socialists looking for a reason as to why their social democracy is failing… “Our communism is failing comrades! If only it weren’t for the Mud People!”

    If I thought voting was a responsible decision I’d go Rand Paul over Trump cause I don’t foresee as much turmoil or broken promises with him as president. Trump’s definitely the best candidate from an #AAA perspective though.


    Posted on September 19th, 2015 at 4:31 am Reply | Quote
  • The International Community Says:

    I didn’t read past “responsible”. If the ‘responsible’ powers ignore a basic fact of life and thereby cede juju to ‘irresponsible’ forces, how responsible can they be, really?


    Posted on September 19th, 2015 at 5:02 am Reply | Quote
  • SVErshov Says:

    idealism can be substituted with humanism here. very costly and trap everyone into fixing the system hard work.


    Posted on September 19th, 2015 at 11:36 am Reply | Quote
  • michael Says:


    heres an interesting article on entry exit and fences i suppose


    Frog Do Reply:

    Which leads naturally to this:


    I wonder, in this Fourth Great Awakening, when movements like this will start to officially appear among the Very Serious Social Justice Movements to solve their ally problem.


    Posted on September 19th, 2015 at 12:09 pm Reply | Quote
  • vxxc2014 Says:

    “Idealism is fine, but as it approaches reality, the costs become prohibitive.”


    Posted on September 19th, 2015 at 6:23 pm Reply | Quote

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