, 19 tweets, 3 min read
A few days ago I quoted Frank Wilhoit ("Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit: There must be in-groups whom the law protects but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect...") and ppl were "I gotta read up on Frank!" (1/x)
Well, here's the thing:

As much as I would like to point you to a book on political philosophy that would blow your mind, in our era the most insightful political philosophy is apparently being doing in random comment threads.
Don't worry, there actually is more context for the quote, although I'd argue it's sufficient unto itself. Here's the source:

crookedtimber.org/2018/03/21/lib…
That whole comment is really thought-provoking, no?

It feels like it SHOULD be an excerpt or a summary of a book. And a lot of people have assumed that it is, because "Frank Wilhoit" is the name of a political science professor at Drake University.

But wait.
Professor Frank M. Wilhoit died in 2010. The comment is from March 2018.

This Frank Wilhoit is, from the link in his username, a composer who mostly writes about music theory.
And that's it.

As far as I can tell, one of the most insightful and concise political critiques (and you know it's insightful because it *feels* simple and like it's stating the obvious... in retrospect) of the Trump era is actually JUST a comment on a blog post.
I'm going to quote more of it here, though, because it's worth rumination.
"There is no such thing as liberalism — or progressivism, etc.

There is only conservatism. No other political philosophy actually exists; by the political analogue of Gresham’s Law, conservatism has driven every other idea out of circulation."
"There might be, and should be, anti-conservatism; but it does not yet exist. What would it be? In order to answer that question, it is necessary and sufficient to characterize conservatism. Fortunately, this can be done very concisely."
"Conservatism consists of exactly one proposition, to wit:

There must be in-groups whom the law protectes but does not bind, alongside out-groups whom the law binds but does not protect.

There is nothing more or else to it, and there never has been, in any place or time."
"For millenia, conservatism had no name, because no other model of polity had ever been proposed. “The king can do no wrong.” In practice, this immunity was always extended to the king’s friends, however fungible a group they might have been."
"Today, we still have the king’s friends even where there is no king (dictator, etc.). Another way to look at this is that the king is a faction, rather than an individual."
"As the core proposition of conservatism is indefensible if stated baldly, it has always been surrounded by an elaborate backwash of pseudophilosophy, amounting over time to millions of pages."
"All such is axiomatically dishonest and undeserving of serious scrutiny. Today, the accelerating de-education of humanity has reached a point where the market for pseudophilosophy is vanishing; it is, as The Kids Say These Days, tl;dr ."
"All that is left is the core proposition itself — backed up, no longer by misdirection and sophistry, but by violence."
"So this tells us what anti-conservatism must be: the proposition that the law cannot protect anyone unless it binds everyone, and cannot bind anyone unless it protects everyone."
"Then the appearance arises that the task is to map “liberalism”, or “progressivism”, or “socialism”, or whateverthefuckkindofstupidnoise-ism, onto the core proposition of anti-conservatism."
"No, it a’n’t. The task is to throw all those things on the exact same burn pile as the collected works of all the apologists for conservatism, and start fresh. The core proposition of anti-conservatism requires no supplementation and no exegesis."
"It is as sufficient as it is necessary. What you see is what you get:

The law cannot protect anyone unless it binds everyone; and it cannot bind anyone unless it protects everyone."
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