Introducing... New Guard

The return of the original young American conservative magazine

By Kevin DeAnna

Conservatism has failed.

As young men and women of the right, we must look uncomfortably to the world we inherit. We have grown up in a country that is moving radically left, even as nominal conservatives have won great electoral triumphs. We have seen our faith driven from the public square, our heroes torn down from places of honor, our history denigrated and our culture attacked. We have been indoctrinated since birth by an absurd menagerie of teachers, professors, diversity consultants and sensitivity trainers who tell us that truth is offensive, pride in ourselves is hateful and true freedom means submission to the hacks and charlatans in positions of authority. We have seen the power of a hostile government grow daily, as it robs us of traditional liberties, plunders hard earned wealth and is uninterested in the welfare or even continued existence of the American people. We have not seen any effective resistance to these trends even in what historians tell us is a period of conservative ascendancy in American political history.

Despite the optimism that is integral to the American character, it is impossible to avoid a feeling of foreboding. We sense, even if we are unwilling to admit it, that the best days of the West are over, and we are coming of age at the bitter end. We secretly fear that we are fighting a losing struggle, and that the best we can hope for is to stem the tide, if only for the moment.

Mainstream conservative publications discuss the twilight of our civilization with the same nonchalance as the rate of the capital gains tax. The obsession with the minutiae of party politics conceals the hard truth that the political process has failed. We moved farther from all of the principles we claim to fight for during a time of supposed conservative control of every branch of the federal government. It is hard not to question why we should bother to try again. The best that can be argued is that we have saved America from worse alternatives. Unless the purpose of our so-called movement is to manage decline, losing in slow motion is still losing. Changing course is necessary if we are not to be simply wasting our time.

We call for a new movement, populist in orientation, original and rigorous in its intellectual dedication and young and revolutionary in character. The articles in these pages will challenge the failed approaches of the past, expose the crisis of the age and suggest real alternatives. We will focus on the real centers of power in our society: the universities, the culture, the local communities and the battles for the hearts and minds of our generation. We will fight for the vision of a restored republic and a proud Western people rather than a failed reactionary opposition. We will be the organizers, intellectuals and activists of a New Right that will take back our future. We do not want to be the next generation of political hacks in Washington. We will be the first generation of heroes that reclaimed the birthright of liberty we have been denied.

Recognition of our dire situation has been too often delayed by shallow triumphalism. There is much chest thumping about being the “sole superpower,” the leader of the free world and the model for all other countries to follow. This is combined with a tired narrative about the glorious rise of the conservative movement, from the fabled lost cause of Goldwater to the golden age of Reagan. The Right has been making the same case to the American people since the 1968 Nixon campaign. We claim that the Radical Left is an out of touch, unpatriotic elite that does not represent “real” American values. This charge is still true. It has been sufficient to win an occasional election, maybe even this one. However, this strategy is premised upon the continued existence of the Silent Majority. A people cannot avoid perishing without a vision and without defenders. There is a sense that perhaps this year the script will not work and that there are finally more of them than us. The loss of the conservative majority in both government and society happened because the conservative movement let it, and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

A real movement does not simply adjust to the whims of public opinion in order to seek electoral viability but seeks to change the direction of the culture. The New Left and the conservative movement in the 1960s pursued two very different strategies. Conservatives went into government and limited their ambitions to controlling the state. The New Left went into the universities and the media and shaped the culture. It is their culture we live in. Government can change every November; cultural changes take generations. Rather than continuing to pay tribute to our purported success because we have the opportunity for middling jobs in Washington DC and occasional handshakes with senators, we must admit that we traded access for real power. We have become accomplices to a system that is attacking the things we claim to stand for.

No longer. Youth is a time for idealism, heroism and, dare we say it, radicalism. It is no time for resume building, compromise or careerism. Revolutions are not made, movements are not sustained and nations are not saved by selling out or settling for the status quo. It could perhaps be understood if such a betrayal came with benefits such as high salaries, social prestige or some kind of notoriety to brag about at the high school reunion. American conservatives, despite their mythic quest for respectability, are openly despised by the establishment they seek to flatter. Let us accept that it is simply not worth it – and resolve to build a new world through a new movement.

This magazine will not urge people not to work for John McCain or other assumed “center-right” politicians of the Republican Party. We do not intend to ignore the political process. However, we believe that no electoral victory, no matter how overwhelming, will be enough to stop what is happening to our country. We suggest that the McCain nomination proves that an approach that is limited to partisan maneuvering within the confines of the two party system will never produce positive results. We need to take back our culture, our schools and our communities rather than pouring our efforts into a political class that has betrayed us far too many times.

We come out of the conservative movement and identify with the conservative tradition. We suggest that the failures of “the movement” may derive from insufficient attention to the true roots of that tradition and we will redeem it. The mistaken, simplistic assumption that Burkean conservatism constitutes aristocratic detachment or adherence to “gradual change” is at best irrelevant and at worst harmful in effectively dealing with the existing political situation. American political, financial and cultural elites are the preeminent force behind leftism today, with a beleaguered middle class and struggling working class the best hope of resistance. This country does not have a landed, traditionalist aristocracy committed to the preservation of the best of the national tradition but a deracinated and gluttonous class openly contemptuous of the people to which we belong. Edmund Burke had something to conserve. By and large, we don’t. We do not reject the conservative label, but we think it is insufficient. We are more than that – we are a movement of the Right and of the West.

This is the New Right. This is New Guard.

 

3 comments:

FirstPrinciples said...

The introductory offering posted on New Guard recognizes the problem, and adequately describes a solution, perhaps even the solution. Its square-one recognition that this is a cultural war more than a political one gives hope that the younger generation will pay homage to substance, not just fury.

The first step is to ensure not only knowledge in its troops, but wisdom in their actions. Neither of these attributes is gained easily, and without them lasting victories, real citizen recognition of where to redirect our social interactions, will be hard to develop and implement.

While New Guard efforts, methods, and goals reflect real opportunity, if its practitioners do not have the historical and pragmatic notions of individual freedom as their grounding, they will approach their path without a proper vehicle that can not only refute today's paradigm but explain why a new direction, based on learned truths, not wide-eyed optimism, is not just viable but mandatory.

In future articles New Guard might offer these lessons, which have been paid for in blood but today are available simply for the "price of attention and reflection." If those who would demand change not only remember the first principles on which the nation was founded, but practice them, and begin from them, then there is a real possibility for a cultural challenge to what is so destructive in today's world.

JoeVigs said...

The war we are facing is indeed a cultural war more so than a political war. It was never about politics for conservatives. It was always about tradition, values, and identity, and many in the current guard seem to have forgotten what made conservatism great and real in the first place.

Faith, reason, and substance are critical. Conservatism appeals because it is realisitc, and works because it is real.

machinephilosophy said...

If the world is not like I want it to be, it is because my arguments for it to be different just aren't good enough yet, by which I mean they are not yet persuasively efficacious.

The opposition will be haunted by their own self-contradictions. My job is to just accelerate the process.

Cheers
Roger
ultimateobject.com

  • Who we are

    New Guard is the magazine of a new conservative movement, populist in orientation, original and rigorous in its intellectual dedication and young and revolutionary in character. The articles will challenge the failed approaches of the past, expose the crisis of the age and suggest real alternatives. New Guard will focus on the real centers of power in our society: the universities, the culture, the local communities and the battles for the hearts and minds of our generation. We will fight for the vision of a restored republic and a proud Western people rather than a failed reactionary opposition. We do not reject the conservative label, but we think it is insufficient. New Guard is written for and by the organizers, intellectuals and activists of a New Right that will take back our future.