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Salvo 10.20.2021 3 minutes

Focusing on the Family

Extended family toasting drinks at lunch

A Preview of National Conservatism II

Ideological liberalism, in its mission to break down all barriers, has eviscerated our core loyalties: domestic, religious, and national. Our failure to distinguish family from stranger, good from evil, and friend from enemy has produced a broad and deep confusion and dissatisfaction with life that can only be answered by rejecting liberal cosmopolitanism.

This, to the founders of the National Conservatism Conference, is the heart of the problem in the Western World. In order to set forth a social and political agenda that restores God, family, and nation to their proper positions in the center of the lives of the American people, Yoram Hazony is, for the second time, gathering several leading conservative, post-liberal, and anti-liberal thinkers in Orlando from October 31-November 2. 

National Conservatism II remains open for registration, and scholarships are available to students.

Last week, I spoke to Hazony about this year’s conference, the current political climate, and the future of conservatism in general. Hazony believes that western countries have reached a point of “potential dissolution… They really are threatened with crumbling internally and being overtaken from the outside. When you combine the collapse of religious and political traditions with the threat of China…this is a very bad place to be.”

How did we get here? “All good comes from being able to properly make distinctions,” Hazony says. Through the liberal tendency to dissolve meaningful distinctions, we have dissolved many meaningful personal bonds. These personal bonds begin with family and extend to the nation. Simply put, with no sense of nationhood or nation to which we should be loyal, things fall apart. People fall victim especially to ideologies that promise some sense of false unity, especially Marxism and globalism. He continues: “This collapse of liberalism reached a crescendo in 2020, but it is something that’s been going on for decades. If we’re going to have any chance of overcoming this civilizational catastrophe, we’ve got to see clearly how liberalism brought about [the collapse of the family].”

Recovery begins with reviving hollowed-out sociopolitical traditions: simple habits that once grounded people in a sense of orderliness and devotion. These include, for instance, grandparents helping with childcare, as well as adult children taking in elderly parents for end-of-life care. To this end, conference organizers have added a special emphasis to discussions on marriage, family, and the nation. The very first breakout session includes a panel featuring Claremont fellow Scott Yenor, author of The Recovery of Family Life, and Mary Harrington, self-described “reactionary feminist” who recently authored “The Fight Against Erasing Women” for The American Mind.

Hazony concludes our interview by adding, “I don’t think that anything other than devoting yourself, heart and soul, to building a way out is appropriate at this time. [The National Conservatism conference] is where the people who are actively thinking ‘What are we going to do now’ are going to be.’ If you’re thinking along these lines, then you should, too.”

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