It`s my job as a conservative to depress you, so I`m sad to say that, as this will be my last blogpost here, you`ll have to find some other way to get yourself down from now on; maybe stick yourself in a room with some Radiohead CDs and a bottle of gin and put Requiem for a Dream on a loop....
Conservatism may sound miserable, even misanthropic, but it only recognises that within the communities we live in, which are from an evolutionary point of view unnaturally large, there need to be firm rules to minimalise free-riding, violent conflict and economic disaster.
The idea of evolutionary conservatism is to build a society that is as just, progressive, wealthy and happy as is possible within the boundaries of human nature.
Evolution explains why people are unwilling to pool their resources with people unlike them, why men who are not expected to be providers will become hyper-masculine, why poor people are more hostile to welfare claimants than the rich are, why we’re more scared of terrorists and paedophiles than car drivers, and why things like the gender gap will never be eliminated (though social forces can reduce it).
Evolution even explains why so much of political debate still revolves too much around Marx and Freud, and too little around Darwin; people just find it difficult to embrace controversial ideas, and are unwilling to accept that they’re wrong. We’re all guilty of this, because we’ve evolved that way, and that’s why political debate is always dominated by irrationality, prejudice, wilful ignorance and tribalism.
It’s why opinions can inspire very strong feelings, hatred even. We all must occasionally see the face of a know-it-all columnist whose views we disagree with and want to punch them in the face. (Sometimes I look at my own byline picture and want to punch it. I’m sure it must be impossible, after writing comment pieces for a while, not to hate yourself to a certain extent; in fact there’s probably something wrong with you if you don’t. Maybe you’re a psychopath.)
But then we haven’t evolved to live with such confrontational views being shoved in our faces; humans have a deep-seated desire to be in communion, which explains both the appeal of religion and the moral cowardice of those who hold an unpopular opinion or inconvenient truth when faced with a mob.
That’s ultimately what political commentators are for, to say something different when faced with the collective madness that passes for current opinion.
I hope that over the last four years I’ve occasionally succeeded; I’ve regretted some articles, although the Telegraph weren’t keen on a piece called “My five worst blogposts”, which could have had a Ratner effect. But don’t hold it against me.
So thank you for reading and commenting; I like many of the commenters, and often find them interesting and informative. So thank you, and I will continue somewhere the struggle against cultural Marxism, the Frankfurt School, Lib-Lab-Con, Common Purpose, Gramscian hegemony and reality in general. And remember, if you think things are bad, they can always get worse, and probably will.
Ed`s book The Diversity Illusion is available from Amazon.com.