Skip to comments.An Indictment of American Conservatism
Posted on 01/24/2019 1:46:47 PM PST by NRx
It may be inferred again that the present movement for womens rights, will certainly prevail from the history of its only opponent, Northern conservatism. 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 today one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow 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 he 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. It alwayswhen about to enter a protestvery blandly informs the wild beast whose path it essays to stop, that its bark is worse than its bite, and that it only means to save its manners by enacting its decent rôle of resistance. The only practical purpose which it now subserves in American politics is to give enough exercise to Radicalism to keep it in wind, and to prevent its becoming pursy and lazy from having nothing to whip. No doubt, after a few years, when womens suffrage shall have become an accomplished fact, conservatism will tacitly admit it into its creed, and thenceforward plume itself upon its wise firmness in opposing with similar weapons the extreme of baby suffrage; and when that too shall have been won, it will be heard declaring that the integrity of the American Constitution requires at least the refusal of suffrage to asses. There it will assume, with great dignity, its final position.
What's next? A post of the entire Quran???
I know conservative women who have told me they would gladly give up their voting rights if it would force all other women to do the same.
Yup any ideology that plays defense only is on its way to the grave.
Gee, where is that? New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan,Minnesota?
Setting aside the specific issue being addressed, the broader point is as true today as it was in 1871. Conservatives have not always been right, just as Progressives have not always been wrong (though that’s pretty damned rare). But this is a solid argument. Danby strikes me as a very serious thinker. And I say that noting that he, as a lifelong defender of slavery, was also fallible.
What peculiar institutions do we have today that might seem insane or barbaric in a hundred years?
Maybe giving out Billions of SSRIs without really knowing what they do and now with the theory that it’s dopamine that affects mood more than serotonin.
Handing out opoiods and benzos like candy.
Slaughtering millions of babies.
Yes we conservatives are against abortion but no one is calling for a war to stop it so we can’t take it that seriously.
Either millions of people are being systematically killed with the approval and protection of govt or not.
There is no in between.
It’s as bad or worse than slavery was.
Wow, and I thought my local post office's service was slow.
A singular achievement. You managed to block post without paragraphs, evidently without previewing, and then give no link so that someone could read a formatted version.
It’s a trifecta!
The quote is in a single paragraph as it was written. If you want to read the source...
I am pretty sure this was written by the Rev Robert Dabney, AKA ‘Fighting Bob’.
Here is his bio. His biography of Stonewall Jackson is remarkable and still used by scholars even though it was published in 1863:
Robert Lewis Dabney (18201898)
Contributed by John Boles and the Dictionary of Virginia Biography
Robert Lewis Dabney was a Presbyterian minister who, during the American Civil War (18611865), emerged as one of the most influential leaders of the southern Presbyterian Church. Born in Louisa County, he was educated at the Union Theological Seminary and served on the school’s faculty, becoming chair of theology in 1859 and preaching Calvinist orthodoxy. Dabney opposed secession but served as chaplain to the 18th Virginia Infantry Regiment and, for several months in 1862, as adjutant, or chief of staff, to Confederate general Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson. Ill health forced him to return to the seminary, but he later wrote a biography of Jackson. Dabney was an ardent defender of slavery and the Old South, opposed the Progressive Movement, and was skeptical of modern science. As an important Presbyterian leader in the South, he opposed reunifying the southern church with its northern counterpart. In 1883, he left Virginia to teach at the new University of Texas, in Austin, where he helped to found the Austin School of Theology. He died in Victoria, Texas, in 1898.
Dabney was born in Louisa County on March 5, 1820, the son of Elizabeth Randolph Price Dabney and Charles Dabney, a member of the county court and an elder in the local Presbyterian church. At age seven he began his education in a small log school near his home. He learned Latin from an elder brother and later began to study Greek. Following several months of tutoring in mathematics, Dabney entered Hampden-Sydney College as a sophomore in June 1836. He left after September 1837, returned home to assist his widowed mother, and found time to teach two terms at a local school. In the autumn of 1839 he matriculated at the University of Virginia and in 1842 received an MA.
For the next two years Dabney helped his mother manage the family plantation, taught school, and began his long and productive career as an author by writing articles for Richmond newspapers. Having joined the Presbyterian Church in 1837, he enrolled in November 1844 at the Union Theological Seminary, then affiliated with Hampden-Sydney College. After graduating in June 1846, Dabney returned to Louisa County and preached at Providence Presbyterian Church. On July 16, 1847, he was ordained and installed as minister of Tinkling Spring Presbyterian Church, in Augusta County. Dabney married Margaretta Lavinia Morrison in Rockbridge County on March 28, 1848. Of their six sons, three died as children.
The Union Theological Seminary (later Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education) awarded Dabney a doctor of divinity in 1852, and in August of the following year he joined the faculty as professor of church history and church government. In 1859 he took over the duties of the chair of theology and began teaching systematic theology with a rigorous emphasis on Calvinist orthodoxy. The following year he declined offers of a prestigious pulpit in New York and a position on the faculty of Princeton Theological Seminary.
Initially opposed to secession, Dabney sided with his state after Virginia joined the Confederacy in the spring of 1861. In May of that year he began four months of service as chaplain to the 18th Virginia Infantry Regiment before returning to his duties at the seminary. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson often heard Dabney preach during those months and asked Dabney to serve as his adjutant, or chief of staff, a position for which he had neither experience nor skill. Although Dabney preferred resuming the role of chaplain, Jackson was persuasive, and Dabney was commissioned a major, to rank from April 22, 1862. Illness forced him to resign on August 15, but his respect for Jackson never wavered. When Jackson’s widow later asked Dabney to write a biography of the general, Dabney threw himself into the effort. His Life and Campaigns of Lieut.-Gen. Thomas J. Jackson (Stonewall Jackson), which highlighted the subject’s fervent piety, appeared in a two-volume edition published in London between 1864 and 1866 and a one-volume edition published in New York in 1866.
As soon as his health allowed, Dabney resumed teaching at the Union Theological Seminary. He had been a reluctant secessionist but steadfastly defended the Confederate cause until the day of his death. Terribly embittered by the defeat of the South and by the end of slavery, Dabney was decidedly undemocratic in his politics and racist to the core. He defended an idealized version of the Old South as the very apex of Christian civilization. He spoke and wrote against allowing freedpeople to vote and denounced free public education for blacks and whites. Dabney was as opposed to new theories in science as he was to new ideas about politics, education, and a whole range of so-called progressive concepts, and his Calvinism grew more inflexible as his social and political views calcified. He employed his formidable learning to defend a variety of reactionary causes. From Dabney’s pen flowed a series of publications, mounting a rearguard defense of older ways as suggested by the titles: A Defence of Virginia, [and Through Her, of the South] in Recent and Pending Contests Against the Sectional Party (1867), Ecclesiastical Relation of Negroes (1868), A Caution Against Anti-Christian Science (1871), The Sensualistic Philosophy of the Nineteenth Century, Considered (1875), and The Practical Philosophy (1897).
Dabney emerged as one of the most influential leaders of the southern Presbyterian Church. In 1863 he chaired a committee that brought about the merger of new school and old school factions in the South to create the Presbyterian Church in the United States. While serving as moderator of the denominational general assembly in 1870, Dabney helped scuttle efforts to promote fraternal relations between southern and northern Presbyterians, and he vehemently opposed any efforts toward reunification. His essays and sermons appeared frequently in Presbyterian periodicals or in pamphlet form. The publication of his theological texts, Sacred Rhetoric (1870) and Syllabus and Notes of the Course of Systematic and Polemic Theology (1871), both of which went through several editions, ensured that his influence over southern Presbyterian divinity students was unmatched.
Dabney’s unhappiness with the postwar situation led him to consider leaving the United States, and in 1883 health problems convinced him to leave Virginia and accept the professorship of moral philosophy at the new University of Texas, in Austin. He liked the climate and at first was optimistic about the prospects for Christian society in Texas, where he helped to found the Austin School of Theology. But modernity soon intruded there, too, and an exasperated Dabney grew ever more embittered. In 1894 the university asked for his resignation, and the following year he and his wife moved to the home of a son in Victoria, Texas.
Though a spirited lecturer and prolific writer, Dabney suffered from ill heath for much of his life, and toward the end his afflictions were multiplied by blindness. He nevertheless saw through to publication Discussions (18901897), a four-volume collection of his writings. Dabney died in Victoria, Texas, on January 3, 1898. At his request he was buried at the Union Theological Seminary in Virginia Cemetery, at Hampden-Sydney College.
Life and Campaigns of Lieut.-Gen. Thomas J. Jackson (Stonewall Jackson) (1866)
A Defence of Virginia, [and Through Her, of the South] in Recent and Pending Contests Against the Sectional Party (1867)
Ecclesiastical Relation of Negroes (1868)
Sacred Rhetoric (1870)
Syllabus and Notes of the Course of Systematic and Polemic Theology (1871)
A Caution Against Anti-Christian Science (1871)
The Sensualistic Philosophy of the Nineteenth Century, Considered (1875)
The Practical Philosophy (1897)
My best friend is one. Extremely literate and cultured.
The truth is that the Amendments of a century ago - 16, 17, 19 - were all “progressive” Trojan Horses to dilute and destroy the Constitutional Republic with redistribution (income tax) and democracy (mob rule).
Women are the largest bloc, and vote left of men as a bloc. The communist fellow travelers did not care about the rights of individual women. They cared about moving the nation to socialism, then communism.
We live in interesting times.
That was considered a curse in China.
Wasn’t the original intent of the forefathers, “1 family, 1 vote”?
It was one property owner, one vote.
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