Why I am a Nationalist Conservative:
I don’t actually like political labels. They’re restrictive, often poorly understood and regularly misinterpreted. All the same, if I had to label myself in simple terms, it would probably be that. In convoluted terms it would probably be ‘esoteric nationalist futurism with a strongly conservative ethos,’ but no one knows what that means, and very few probably want to know.
Politics, in my view, is simply the system we create for organising our societies. Obviously, we want productive, healthy, functional societies. Those that aren’t have a tendency to collapse. I’m a practical man, so to properly understand my political views, we have to engage with the very practical concept of civilisation as a linear progression.
We humans are creatures of flesh and blood, evolved from stardust and energy on a rock travelling the endless expanse of space. This biological life, and by extension the civilisation that it develops to give itself an order and a purpose, is a one-way street. You either reach the stars and spread among them, or your species eventually dies on its rock, either destroying itself or being destroyed via cosmic accident.
A civilisation advances through its eras of complexity. In our case; tribal, feudal, industrial, modern and so forth. There is no room for mistake, for regression or for subjectivity. You advance quickly or you exhaust your planet’s resources and die having lost the only race that ever mattered.
Where the hell does nationalism and conservatism come into all this?
It’s a surprisingly simple connection actually. Nationalism and conservatism are political ideologies, they are some of many ways in which we can organise our civilisation. If our civilisational goal is the advancement of ourselves and by extension humanity – as it should be – then those ideologies are the best way of doing it.
Nationalism is essential because without it, nations will simply degrade and fall apart over time. Nationalism is pride in one’s people, history, culture and the struggle for a better future for your country. It grounds people, gives them purpose, motivation. We see this very clearly now in Europe, whole countries lose sight of why they exist. They ask whether they even deserve to exist. The door is flung open for incredibly damaging and nonsensical philosophies to take advantage of a demoralised people.
The belief in your nation and your people with whom you share centuries, if not millennia, of history and culture – is absolutely integral to the long-term functionality of any society, any civilisation. Perhaps most importantly of all, it allows actions to be taken purely for the good of the nation as a whole. There are plenty of other arguments for nationalism, even spiritual ones, but that is simply my practical take on its necessity.
As for conservatism, it provides the healthy moral and social footing that is not necessarily inbuilt into nationalism, though they often come together. Nationalism can come in many forms, you can even get left-wing nationalism as strange as that may sound, which is why it is important to specify the conservative ethos of my beliefs.
I yearn for the future, as any biological organism should. That’s the principle this entire article is based around. However it is no secret that the future contains problems, dangers, and difficult questions. With the advancement of technology, things like abortion became possible. That is the role of the conservative side of this futuristic coin, to identify the new possibilities that emerge, and decide the morally sound course of action that will not harm society.
This will be a very important role going forward. Technologies like gene-editing, cybernetic augmentation and plenty of others are only around the corner. We’ll almost undoubtedly live to see them. If one is only concerned with technological advancement or national advancement, it is easy to overlook the societal questions that arise from them. Should we edit genes merely to destroy disease, or should we make humans faster, stronger and more intelligent than ever before?
You might think this a harsh outlook, a take on ideology and personal philosophy that is too practical. It’s probably the oddest of the Burke’s Right Minds series so far – and we’ve had libertarian anarchists. Yet I think it the most morally defensible ideology.
Caring about your nation, your people and your society, while at the same time working towards the advancement of all humanity is the only ideology that promises to exalt people, to let them reach the fullest of their potential.
Libertarian society will fail because it cares only for the individual. Religious society will fail because they care only for heaven. Marxist society will fail because… well, for a plethora of reasons. Conservatism alone will stagnate. Nationalism alone is simply not enough.
Put them together and look towards the future. Maybe then we’ll have something to work with.
Michael O’Dwyer Connolly is Director & Editor at The Burkean. You can follow him on Twitter @BurkeanMichael