Category Archives: Stephen Baskerville

FIREARMS: AN EXCERPT FROM A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO MANNERS, SEX, AND RULING THE WORLD

Firearms

At one time, one mark of a gentlemen was the practice and privilege of carrying a sidearm. When the Japanese samurai were forced to give up their exclusive right to carry swords, it marked the end of their status and really their existence and of Japan’s  feudal society. At some point, this started to have unfortunate consequences, with the proliferation of dynastic and clan warfare, duels, and other private violence. Gradually these practices were suppressed and superseded by lawsuits, which undoubtedly did help to diminish the level of violence and have long been hailed as an advancement in civilization. In retrospect, it is not clear that this improvement was not without some unintended and unfortunate consequences of its own. It greatly diminished the role of private citizens and householders — that is, men — as protectors of themselves, their homes and families, and our freedom. Instead, it substituted (and forced us all to pay) a professional gendarmerie that acquired a near monopoly over the means of force and that has become increasingly authoritarian, bureaucratic, and subject to political manipulation — that is, a positive threat to our freedom. It also greatly augmented the power of lawyers, who have become our professional surrogate citizens, and judges, who are rapidly becoming our de facto rulers. Continue reading FIREARMS: AN EXCERPT FROM A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO MANNERS, SEX, AND RULING THE WORLD

The Sexual Left, the Welfare State, and the Divorce Revolution

(originally published in the June 2021 issue of Chronicles magazine.)

How America went communist.By Stephen Baskerville

“All politics is on one level sexual politics.” —George Gilder

Extremists break out of the margins and take power when they fool opponents into advancing their agenda. By politicizing the family and sexuality, the left duped conservatives, and all of us, into becoming their accomplices.

Since last fall’s electoral coup, the United States has been well on its way toward becoming a de facto communist government. But it is not the communism that conservative Cassandras have warned against, nor did it come about as they expected. In fact, conservatives bear a huge share of the responsibility for what happened. Misunderstanding the dynamics of today’s left, they helped fulfill their own prophecies.

Americans have long prided themselves on being impervious to socialism. They even avoided creating an extensive European-style welfare state. But the U.S. was not lagging behind Europe; as always, it was leading. For Americans took a unique road to socialism: They created a government engine that bred its own class of insurgents.

Knowing that doctrinaire Marxism held little appeal for Americans, the left did an end run around this ideological obstacle. They enlisted conservatives to the cause of socialism by forsaking the rhetoric of class warfare, appealing instead to a sense of compassion for women and children that compassionate-conservative gallants could not resist.

Continue reading The Sexual Left, the Welfare State, and the Divorce Revolution