The Untenability of Statism and Individualism in an Age of Lockdown

One thing I find particularly interesting is just how vast anti-statist thinking is. This piece is a very good discussion of intellectual and political history. The arguments are mostly a regurgitation of Russell Kirk, Robert Nisbet, and other similar thinkers in the Burkean conservative tradition. In his history of anarchism, Peter Marshall argued that both Edmund Burke and Thomas Paine were proto-anarchists in spite of their polemics against each other, and I tend to agree with that. 

Anti-statist traditions include left-anarchism which overlap with the socialist and communist traditions, libertarian-anarchism which is an outgrowth of the liberal tradition, conservative anti-statism which defends traditional institutions and communities against overarching authoritarian systems, elitist-individualism representing the tradition of aristocratic radicalism associated with figures ranging from Nietzsche to Albert Jay Nock, philosophical egoism that pits the individual against authority generally, and various spiritual/religious traditions claiming moral or religious resistance to the state. All of the latter are really categories unto themselves, e.g Christian anarchism, Buddhist anarchism, Jewish anarchism, Taoist anarchism, etc.

Of course, not all anti-authoritarian philosophies have the state per se as their primary target. Some are more concerned with anti-capitalism, anti-pollution, anti-technology, anti-religion, anti-anti-religion, anti-patriarchy, anti-racism, anti-mass society, anti-modernism, anti-violence, anti-centralism, anti-socialism, anti-technocracy, anti-traditionalism, anti-anti-traditionalism, anti-anti-cosmopolitanism, anti-institutionalism, etc.  I tend toward the view that all of these perspectives raise valid points within their own sphere of thought.

By Ulick Fitzhugh, The Burkean

“Under democratic ideology runs the current of fascism which overflows at the surface. But beneath that runs a countercurrent. Beware lest that countercurrent overflow! Beware lest you bestow upon it power by trying to close it off completely!” – Vilfredo Pareto’s warning to Mussolini’s nascent government.

The Right’s Mercurial Attitude Toward Lockdown         

“When it comes to vaccination, if an individual refuses, there is a potential impact on all of society.” – Dermot Cox

Protest Archives | The Burkean

In the national zeitgeist, the Right is most commonly associated with an opposition to hegemonic attitudes – disseminated by NPHET and perpetuated by our resident sycophants who gladly subject themselves to the thrall of ‘expertise’ – regarding lockdown.

There is a great deal of truth to this. The Right has certainly been at the forefront of demonstrations in opposition to undue lockdown restrictions. However, it must be remembered that many on the Right were initially quite concerned about the virus, and thus advocated strict measures to curtail its pervasiveness.

There is an ideological aspect to the divergent attitudes on the Right toward lockdown. Those in favour contended that opposition to lockdown is symptomatic of an implicit liberal undercurrent which perniciously permeates contemporary rightist discourse.


Leave a Reply