I was introduced to Robert Conquest through the indefatigable John Derbyshire when he wrote of Conquest’s Second Law:
“Any organization not explicitly right-wing sooner or later becomes left-wing.”
It may seem that I spend a great deal of thought on matters left and right. There is some truth there, but I feel the need to impress upon the reader that proper perspective is needed when discussing left and right. Others have illustrated the difference far better than I could hope to reproduce:
First, we need to define left and right. In my opinion, obviously a controversial one, the explanation for this mysterious asymmetric dimension is easy: it is political entropy. Right represents peace, order and security; left represents war, anarchy and crime.
In a nutshell:
Left wing – rebelling against the current order
Right wing – preserving order
Now, it would be easy to look at Masonry today and conclude that Masonry is decidedly right-wing, since it is not explicitly revolutionary. Indeed, we are charged to be exemplary in the discharge of our civil duties. We must take care to maintain the peace and good order of society. Yet these charges to be good do not wash our hands of the revolution. If anything they lull us into complacency, diverting our attention while the ship sinks, all the while congratulating ourselves on our civic pride. I think our hesitance to hold our civic leaders to account (and refusing to do so publicly as Masons) makes the lodge just another brick in the wall. For the state itself has now become hostile to the “peace and good order.” Although the Left long ago captured our major civil and civic institutions, all they know is rebellion. The revolution isn’t over, comrade. We haven’t sufficiently leveled the playing field yet; there is still much to do.
And we go along with it. Because we don’t talk politics or religion; ever. No matter how far off the rails our government may go, we stand by it, ready to rededicate buildings. Masonry now finds itself in the unique position of being an (unofficial) organ of the state, whose leftward march continues. Far from being pillars of moral leadership, Masons, like most people, have ceded moral authority to a bureaucracy, one which props up failing and corrupt institutions. We like to stand apart, with our passes and tokens. It’s very black and white; you’re in the club or you’re out. But being the outlier, one would hope that we have something worthwhile to say. If we can’t even muster enough testosterone to sound the alarm when our government is running us straight off the cliff, why should anyone care about our opinions?
What’s the deal?
This has been on my mind since I learned of the plans to have the Grand Lodge “rededicate” the Capitol building. From #20’s FB page:
On June 21, 2014, the Grand Lodge of California will re-enact the laying of the cornerstone at our State Capitol. This ceremony is open to the public and all are welcome to attend.
Washington Lodge #20, along with Tehama Lodge #3 and the other Lodges of Sacramento will take part in this historic event. We look forward to a great occasion and strong participation from the Washington Lodge #20 membership.
Politics have no place in the Lodge, yet here we are.
I would amend this to say partisan politics have no place. Philosophy most certainly has a place, and philosophy (or the lack thereof) informs a man’s politics. Our philosophy, in many ways, is strikingly similar to the classical liberalism of the 18th century. And 18th century liberals would be aghast at our government today (even though it is, in many ways, the logical progression from then to today). From the lessons of Masonry, and the philosophy underlying it, this is what I would expect to be the predominant political thought of Masons:
- Even though we meet “on the level,” and all are equal in the eyes of God, a survey of nature shows that not all men are equal in ability, and as such, there will naturally develop asymmetries of power and wealth.
- Masons respect private property, and as such, though some expropriation may be required for mutual defense and security, the fruits of a man’s labor should be his. It is not within the purview of the state to redistribute wealth from one to another.
- There are those, who, while deserving of the dignity due a child of God, will not trouble themselves to either add to the common stock of knowledge or even pull their weight (assuming they are able).
- These people deserve no protection or charity.
- Stealing from the industrious, for the benefit of the idle, is immoral.
- There are many aspects of human nature that are fixed.
- Biological sex is among them.
- While it is important to protect the rights of minorities in society, it is equally important to not hold up and celebrate deviance.
- All are deserving of an opportunity to be educated.
- Not all are equally capable of higher education.
- Diversity for its own sake, is not a worthwhile goal.
- Just because the “99%” wants something, does not justify the thieving of others’ property.
These are just examples, but can you imagine the impact of this type of discussion?
Why is this necessary?
As I said earlier, our society has continued to drift leftward. Conservatives have slowed it, but it remains. Because Masonry is not explicitly Right wing, we have been swept along. We now have little that distinguishes us from the standard Narrative of any other institution. We are part of the System.
When we have nothing to say about the state of our schools, the depredations of excessive taxation (beyond securing life, liberty and property), the holding up of perverse worldviews or attempts to bring us “on the level” with the most backward and God-forsaken countries in the world, why would anyone seek out our wisdom? Because Dan Brown churned out another 6th grade novel? Or because we seek to transmit wise and serious truths? I hope the transgender bathrooms are completed by the time the Grand Lodge holds its rededication ceremony at the Capitol.
I see Masonry as a beneficial civil institution; at least it has that promise. It has the potential to be a beacon in uncertain times. But it is useless when it becomes the handmaiden of the thieves in Sacramento, bending over backwards to show what good citizens we are. We should be irate. 66,000 masons should stand up and shout, “Bullshit! We want none of this.” Masons, when they speak, should have something substantive to say.
How far we have come since The Morgan Affair, not that murder is a proper Masonic activity by any stretch. Still, it is hard to imagine going from being reviled to the point of good folks creating the Anti-Masonic Party, to rededicating the state Capitol building of California in 150 years’ time.