Thursday, July 29, 2010

Why Conservatism is Doomed

The world's leading expert in English-speaking milieux, and translator of the Dutch political thought and influence of Groen, Dr. Harry Van Dyke, has summarized Groen's mature view in this way:

We are living in a condition of permanent revolution ... revolutions are here to stay and will grow much worse in scope and intensity unless men can be persuaded to return to Christianity, to practise its precepts and to obey the Gospel in its full implications for human life and civilized society. Barring such a revival, the future would belong to socialism and communism, which on this view were but the most consistent sects of the new secular religion. To Groen, therefore, the political spectrum that presented itself to his generation offered no meaningful choice.
"In terms of his analysis, the 'radical left' was composed of fanatical believers in the godless ideology; the 'liberal centre,' by comparison, by warm believers who warned against excesses and preached moderation; while the 'conservative right' embraced all those who lacked either the insight, the prudence, or the will to break with the modern tenets yet who recoiled from the consequences whenever the ideology was practised and implemented in any consistent way. None of the shades or 'nuances of secular liberalism represented a valid option for Christian citizens." Groen called for a rejection of the entire available spectrum of political positions, calling for a "radical alternative in politics, along anti-revolutionary, Christian-historical lines" (Harry Van Dyke, Groen van Prinsterer: Lectures on Unbelief and Revolution (1989, pp. 3-4).

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