Tradition and Traditions

“Free Speech” is not a vital civilised value. We don’t believe that. Conservatives don’t believe that. Liberals certainly don’t believe that. Some libertarians actually do, but they’re a tiny proportion of those currently claiming to be Charlie.

Similarly, nobody sensible believes that nothing is worth killing for.

Reactionaries don’t believe that journalists are a class of people who, being holier than the rest, deserve particular protection from the results of their actions. Conservatives shouldn’t (but some of them do). Liberals are more-or-less defined by believing this.

The “Mohammed Cartoons” flap was never civilisation versus Islam. It was off-message liberals versus on-message liberals, with conservatives and Muslims piling in on opposite sides, idiotically thinking themselves important.

On-message liberals believe in diversity. It was originally a means of destroying their parents’ civilisation, but that aim having by this time been utterly achieved, it is now something they believe in out of  tradition. They might one day change their minds about it.

Off-message liberals believe in free speech. It was originally a means of overthrowing aristocratic government, but that was achieved centuries ago, and they carried on believing in it out of tradition for a while, but have now mostly jettisoned it. It still pops up in old ritual pronouncements, but only as a form of words. A few dim bulbs such as the Charlie Hebdo types haven’t kept up.

This shows that “traditionalist” as such is not a useful category. Charlie Hebdo and Al Quaeda both represent traditions, but not ones we support.


2 thoughts on “Tradition and Traditions

  1. Richard says:

    Thanks. I’m not Russian—my intention a year or so ago was to use Russian services for reasons of security, though I made rather a mess of it since this platform is actually Portugese. It was probably a silly idea anyway.


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