CJay Engel

October 23, 2019

The Shift in Left and Right

A century ago, liberalism was the force which advanced a culturally neutral theory of the social institutions, arguing that there was no “ultimate position” that they needed to take in order to defend some transcendent good.

Conservatives of the time grew in opposition to cultural neutrality, arguing that there was an objective good, an objective structure of the social order, that sat as a prerequisite to stability and strength.

This traditionalist conservatism has since largely vanished from the Western world, having been replaced by a new dynamic in which the cultural left pushes its own positive agenda and the so-called “right” takes the weak position of neutrality. That is, today’s conservatism seeks desperately to conserve yesterday’s social neutrality. (Think Jordan Peterson.) The liberalism of one hundred years ago now passes for conservatism.

With reference to my previous article where I discussed Antonio Gramsci (Left) and mentioned Carl Schmitt (Right), both of whom observed that middle of the road democratic-liberalism was by necessity a temporary social dynamic since neutrality cannot prevent its own takeover, those with a conservative temperament must rediscover the traditionalist Old Right and realize that yesterday’s liberalism is no match for today’s leftism.

The social neutrality of liberalism is always and everywhere a temporary mirage.

About the author

C.Jay Engel is the founder and publisher of Bastion Magazine. He has written for, LRC, David Stockman, and related. He owns several consulting business, actively works on the magazine, and lives in Northern CA.

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