Posted on June 14, 2024

‘LGBT’ Is a System

Nate Hochman, American Spectator, June 12, 2024

hen T.S. Eliot said that there are no lost causes because there are no won causes, he probably was not thinking of American conservatism,” begins the opening paragraph of Sam Francis’ seminal 1991 essay, “Beautiful Losers.

“American conservatism,” Francis wrote, “is a failure, and all the think tanks, magazines, direct mail barons, inaugural balls, and campaign buttons cannot disguise or alter it. Virtually every cause to which conservatives have attached themselves for the past three generations has been lost, and the tide of political and cultural battle is not likely to turn any time soon.”

The reasons for this were numerous and varied, but the fundamental thesis was this: “The Old Right,” Francis wrote, “failed to understand that the revolution had already occurred.” The conservatism of William F. Buckley, Jr., Frank Meyer, National Review, and yes, even Ronald Reagan championed an ideology designed to defend an old established order that had already disappeared. That ideology’s doctrines — limited government, federalism, a capitalist “economy of privately owned and operated firms,” and a blend of Protestant moral traditionalism and entrepreneurial individualism “in politics, economy, art, religion, and ethics” — were constructed by and for “the institutions and beliefs of the bourgeois elite” that had ruled from the time of the Civil War up “until the dislocations of 20th-century technological and organizational expansion brought forth a new managerial elite that seized power in the reforms of the Progressive Era and the New Deal,” Francis argued. “These reforms constituted the revolution … in the construction of an entire architecture of economic and cultural power, based on bureaucratized corporations and unions, increasingly bureaucratized universities, foundations, churches, and mass media, and fused, directly or indirectly, with a centralized bureaucratic state.”


These tools of modern mass society are directly at odds with the ethic and character of the old American republic — an ethic that, as Francis noted in a separate essay, “consist[ed] less in moralistic purity than in personal and social independence”:

Owning and operating his own farm or shop, usually producing his own food and clothing, governing his own family and his own community, and defending himself with his own arms in company with his own relatives and neighbors, the citizen of the classical republic neither needed nor wanted a leviathan state to fight wars across the globe in behalf of democracy nor to pretend to protect him and his home. Nor did he need or want a job in someone else’s company, or a pension plan or health benefits or paid vacations or five-hour workdays. {snip} Men who become dependent on others cannot govern themselves, and if they cannot govern themselves, they cannot keep a republic.