The Tory in the Face of Modernity

The Tory, being a traditionalist and a royalist, does not share the liberal and leftist belief that democracy is the best form of government … This is because the Tory knows that authority is not something that flows upward from below. The only thing a politician gains by convincing the masses to support him, is power. Authority is the right to command, power is the ability to coerce, and in a civilized order authority must always take precedence over power, relying upon power to back it up only when necessary. The modern theory of democracy, however, sees authority as a fiction and power as the only reality of politics. Continue reading

The Pro-Southern Instinct in the Loyalist Tradition

SPF273There is, of course, a long tradition in my country of sympathy for the South. Our own Confederation – note the similarity in the term used for the union of the provinces of British North America into the Dominion of Canada to that chosen by the Southern states after secession – occurred in 1867, two years after General Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. The triumph of the North in the American internecine war was the catalyst for the Confederation of Canada. Only five decades previously the United States had failed in an attempt to conquer British North America, they had declared their “Manifest Destiny” to rule all of North America, and now, the side that Britain and its North American provinces had openly sympathized with, had lost. Confederation was considered a prudent move to ward off another invasion by Yankees drunk with their own victory over their Southern brethren. Continue reading

The Canadian Jeremiad on its Golden Jubilee

1965flagThe modern era is the age of progress. “The doctrine of progress is…an open-ended progression in which men will be endlessly free to make the world as they want it”. “The United States is the spearhead of progress”. “The pinnacle of political striving”, in the modern age of progress, is “the universal and homogeneous state”. “This state will be achieved by means of modern science—a science that leads to the conquest of nature”. These ideas and quotations are taken from George Grant’s Lament For a Nation, which first saw print fifty years ago … Continue reading

The Divine Right of Kings versus the Tyranny of the People

patriarchaHuman authority can be divided into two basic types, the natural and the usurped. While natural authority, being vested in fallen and imperfect men, can be abused, usurped authority is the gateway to tyranny. Indeed, the Greek term tyrannos originally referred to one who had seized power by force. It came to refer to rulers who abused their people because an abusive rule is what is usually to be expected from a usurper. Natural authority is never derived from the “consent of the governed”. The most basic natural authority in society, is the authority of parents in the family. Parents are not elected by their children. Parents do not hold authority over their children because their children have voluntarily contracted, or otherwise consented, to being under their authority. Continue reading

Green Toryism

How to Think Seriously About the Planet: The Case For An Environmental Conservatism by Roger Scruton, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012, 457 pp., US$ 29

What colour is conservatism?

The answer to that question, historically and traditionally, has been blue. To be even more precise, it has been royal blue. To be conservative is to be on the side of tradition, custom, religion, old and established ways of doing things, the ancient constitution of church and state. Historically, this has meant that conservatives have defended royalty against modern forces that seek to do away with it. For this reason, the official colour of the Conservative Party is the colour long associated with royalty and aristocracy, blue. Continue reading

High Tories, Left and Right

As someone who self-identifies as a “High Tory” I have on occasion been asked to explain what exactly a High Tory is. I usually respond by explaining what a Tory is first and then explaining what is suggested by the qualifying adjective High. While Tory can be simply a nickname for a member or supporter of the Conservative Party I use the term to mean someone who holds to a certain set of principles and convictions and a certain way of looking at life and the world. The expression “small c conservative” is also used by those who wish to identify themselves as being conservative other than in the partisan sense but I prefer the word Tory because it hearkens back to an older form of conservatism, that exemplified by the eighteenth century poet, biographer, essayist, and lexicographer Dr. Samuel Johnson. Continue reading