(MsaGcM)rnWhat Is Paleoconservatism?rnMan, Know Thyself!rnby Chilton Williamson, Jr.rnPaleoconservatism is the expression of rootedness: a sense ofrnplace and of history, a sense of self derived from forebears,rnkin, and culture—an identity that is both collective and personal.rnThis identity is missing from the psychological and emotionalrnmakeup of leftists of ever’ stripe —including “neoconservatives”rn—and is now disavowed by mainline conservatives ofrnthe Republican variety, seemingly bent on eradicating as muchrnof the primeval stain as they can from their consciousnessesrnwhile apologizing for the faint discoloration that remains.rnIdentity—like patriotism and loyalty, among other things—isrna problem for conservatives to the extent they see it at odds withrnthe concept of Economic Man, for whom the term has no significancernunless preceded by the word “brand.” For the left, thernonly valid human identity is economic status, which determinesrnone’s political position in the context of the class war:rnOther identities (racial, ethnic, tribal, cultural, religious, national)rnare dangerous because they distract from all-importantrneconomic distinctions, and because they create enmity amongrngroups who the dialectic has determined should be allies. Thernleft, which (with the help of drugs and other deviant social behavior)rnin the 80’s created the crisis of homelessness, is and alwaysrnhas been homeless itself: men and women without a country,rnwithout a people, without a history—without God. Butrnthere is another reason why the left, especiallv in societies thatrnretain so much as a vestige of their historic character, despisesrntraditional identities. For leftists, these imply something enticingrnyet, for them, unattainable: a self-possession to be envied, arnself-confidence to be resented, an assurance to be feared. Whatrnthey perceive is not simply a threat to their polifical blueprint,rnto their vision of the future. It is an affront to themselves: theirrnbogus identity, their false self-perception, their absurdly inflatedrnsense of their own strength, most of which they owe to the bureaucraticrninstitutions that protect their soft ineffectual selvesrnthe way a nautilus shelters a snail. This sense of affrontednessrnhas produced a satanic hatred which, for the past 40 years, hasrnbeen fueling a kind of public conspiracy—entirely unprecedentedrnin the annals of history—whose end is the total deconstructionrnof a civilization by the elite responsible for its welfarernand survival.rnIn this campaign of chaos and destruction, the chief andrnmost effective tools have been the weakening of the Christianrnreligion and Christian institutions, the promotion of multiculturalismrn—and virtually uncontrolled immigration from thernThird World. Given their strong sense of identification withrnthe American Republic as well as, in many cases, family tieesrnrooted in the fertile abundant soil of colonial America, it was inevitablernthat it should have been the paleoconservatives whornsounded the alarm over immigration and carried the anti-im-rnChilton Williamson, ]r., is the senior editor for books atrnChronicles.rnmigration battle to the enemy, whose response (entirely in characterrnfor it) has been name-calling from a safe distance ratherrnthan hand-to-hand fighting in the field, plus redoubled bureaucraticrnand propagandistic efforts beyond the sidelines. Given,rnalso, the distiaction of the general population by sports, sex, therninternet, and a booming economy, the paleos seem to be losingrnmost of the battles, and the war. The numbers of first-generationrnimmigrants are approaching critical mass, while a Galluprnpoll taken during the last election season showed that a majorityrnof Americans no longer believes that immigration to theirrncountry ought to be curtailed.rnSuch being the case, what should the paleoconservative responsernbe? (Not the paleoconservative political response —rnthere aren’t any genuine paleoconservatives in positions of realrnpower—but the public, as well as the private, one.) My answersrnare either practically inutile, or else useful only in the long run.rnThese are: pray; wait (“Catastrophe,” Ed Abbey thought, “is ourrnonly hope”); carry on as if nothing were happening; be strong.rnLast fall, I received an academic calendar from my almarnmater. The Trinity School in New York City. Having not paidrna visit to 139 West 91st Street since my 20th reunion in 1985,1rnpaged, astounded, through glossy four-color photographs depictingrnscenes from the daily life of the school. Gone were thernawe-inspiring faculty, serious but not necessarily se’ere men inrntweeds, dark suits, and rimless spectacles. Cone were the ranksrnof schoolboys uniformed in navy blue blazers, button-downrnshirts, stiiped ties, and oxfords (shoe-shine inspection promptlyrnat 8:45 before Chapel, and an ear-tweak for the boy who’d forgottenrnto add his display handkerchief before leaving home thatrnmorning). Cone the straight rows of tablet armchairs, thern14/CHRONICLESrnrnrn