I am not a Conservative. Sometimes I have used the term loosely, especially when I was first called to on publicly to classify myself. I have since been as circumspect as possible in using the term about myself. I say: I am a man of the RightOne of the things that became apparent in reading Weaver's, Right Wing Critics of American Conservatism, is that "membership" of the Right was predicated primarily on being in opposition to the Left. I don't want to blame Weaver too much for this approach, since it is pretty much reflects the mainstream understanding of the Left/Right dichotomy. Weaver attempts to give the division some more philosophical rigor by placing the divide along the lines of those who oppose the idea of equality--the Right--and those who embrace it, i.e. the Left.
If you think about it, there are several serious problems with this approach.
Firstly, it tends to make the Left the reference metric with regard to the determination of the Right and by definition "frames" our understanding of the Right by defining it as NOT(Left). Now the Left understands itself as the only true revolutionary force and that its all of its opponents are reactionary elements hence, anyone who rejects the Left's definition of itself is automatically a Rightist. This also includes Leftist sectarians who are "not with the Program." Stalin, for example, was intellectually consistent from a Left perspective when he claimed that Trotsky, who was not with the program, was a fascist.
Unfortunately given the Leftward drift of our societies, this view is given a lot of mainstream credence, even amongst the unthinking Right, so that anyone "who is against them is with us". Or, in other words, we don't punch to the Right--that is the Right as defined by the Left. Part of the reason why this approach works is that human psychology judges on the appearance and not the substance and as long as progressivism can be given a "Right" veneer, it will be understood by the Lumpenproletariat as "Right Wing".
Take Fascism for instance, the Left defines it as a Right wing phenomenon, and intuitively it feels so, however upon closer scrutiny, we see from a study of history is of Fascism is that it is a heresy that arose from Socialism, its bastard child, so to speak, and therefore shares the same genetics. On the other hand, throne and altar Integralism arises from a totally different intellectual lineage which is opposed to the fascists/socialist DNA. Yet under a Left mandated taxonomy it puts both of them in the same camp.
But suppose we made the reference metric Traditionalism instead of Leftism, then the worlds ideologies could be divided into those which are traditional and those which are progressive. Under this metric both Fascism and Socialism are seen as part of the same progressive grouping.
Indeed, where one sits on the political spectrum is dependent on what one uses as a measuring stick. Unfortunately, for the Right, we've been quite happy to use other peoples metrics to define ourselves and this I believe has seriously hampered our ability to fight back, since many of our percieved allies have ultimately undercut us either explicitly or by being based upon a philosophical systems which are ultimately mutually incompatible. NeoConservatism, for example, has its philosophical roots in the Left and its triumph over Paleoconservatism shifted the Conservative establishment to the Left.
Secondly, by failing to define what it means to be "Right wing" on its own terms has meant that the Right has been awful in its discrimination when it come to choosing allies with who to fight the Left.
Take for example the Spencerian Alt Right. Spencer's advocacy of ethnic nationalism appealed to many people, as it does to me to a certain degree, but underlying philosophy which motivated Spencer is opposed to any type of Western Tradition. His advocacy of abortion, his anti-Christianity, his tolerance of sexual degeneracy and his genetic determinism are staples of progressive thought which has more in common with the Left than the Traditional Right. Should the broader Alt-Right have won any battle it soon would be in conflict with the Alt-Reich for control and the movement as a whole would self destruct. My opposition to Spencer was the he was a Leftist in Right wing clothing.
What I think is most important task for the Right, at the moment, is to define itself explicitly. I've got a couple of suggestions, but before I do that, I want to return to Weaver's understanding of the Right as being those who are opposed to equality.
Why, exactly, is the Right opposed to equality? I personally don't think that it is a result of simple value preference, rather, the empirical experience of life demonstrates the manifest fact of inequality. In other words, the Right believes in inequality, because human inequality is a TRUTH of life.
The concept of TRUTH is the core of the Left-Right divide, both in its understanding of what constitutes the TRUTH and the willingness to bend the knee to it. Quite simply, to be a man of the Right it means to believe and bend the knee to the TRUTH. To be a man of the Right it means living as if the TRUTH matters.
Now the Philosophical treatment of the concept of the Truth is beyond the scope of this blogpost but if I had to define what it means to belong to the European Right, as understood for the last two millennia, I would say the following;
Firstly, a belief in a reality that exists outside of ones self.
Secondly, a belief that the totally of reality that is only partially perceptible (i.e a rejection of Positivism)
Thirdly, of that which is perceptible, the truth of empirical observation.
Fourthly, the validity of logic and reason.
Fifthly, a belief in a Christian God, which as a result of our limitation to fully perceive reality, has given knowledge of Himself and His wishes through the act of revelation.
European Civilization rests on these five points. Reject any one of these and you're not a man of the European Right.