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Nihilism, Futurist Traditionalism and Conservationism

John Gray, philosopher

17 08 10 - 23:00

I read an essay last night where he wrote 75 pages on "An Agenda for Green
Conservatism". These excerpts were online:


Green theory is an invaluable corrective of the
Whiggish, anthropocentric, technological
optimism by which all the modernist political
religions are animated and which has, in the
form of neo-liberalism, even infected most of
what passes today as conservatism (p. 177).

My argument has been that there are many
natural affinities between conservative
philosophy and Green thought...Conservatives
must learn from Green thought that the promise
of open-ended global growth...is delusive;
instead they must turn their attention to the
sources of legitimacy by which social
institutions could be sustained in a stationarystate
economy. In repudiating...neo-liberalism,
conservatives are merely returning to an older
and sounder Tory tradition, which perceived
the illusoriness of the sovereign, autonomous
chooser of liberal theory, and so insisted on the
primacy of the common life. The importance of
Green thought for conservatives today is that it
recalls them to their historic task of giving
shelter to communities and reproducing them
across the generations - in a context of finite
resources which dictates stability, not growth,
as the pre-eminent conservative value (p. 173).


Shades of Linkola:


Gaia, as I see her, is no doting mother, tolerant
of misdemeanours, nor is she some fragile and
delicate damsel in danger from brutal mankind.
She is stern and tough, always keeping the
world warm and comfortable for those who
obey the rules, but ruthless in her destruction of
those who transgress. Her unconscious goal is
a planet fit for life. If humans stand in the way
of this, we shall be eliminated with as little pity
as would be shown by the micro-brain of an
intercontinental ballistic missile in full flight to
its target (p. 173).


On America:


....the decline of the United States into a sort of
chronic, low-intensity ethnic civil war, a proto-
Lebanon held together only by a dwindling
capital of legalism, called into question the
Enlightenment project of citizenship grounded
in universal principles and excluding the
contingencies of historical identity (p. ix).


Read more here.