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5 to 9 Conservatism

[1]

Grant Wood, “Fall Plowing,” 1931

1,166 words

German translation here [2]

Years ago, the friend who had the most influence on my awakening on race and the Jewish question offered a quite clarifying distinction between “9 to 5” and “5 to 9” conservatism.

The 9 to 5 conservatives take their name from the standard 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. work day. These conservatives focus on the economic realm. They wish to preserve economic freedom from government interference. They also focus on cutting taxes and resisting new taxes, so that productive people can keep more of the fruits of their labor. 9 to 5 conservatism, in short, is just economic liberalism. Its most ideologically pure advocates in America today are libertarians and the Tea Party.

5 to 9 conservatives take their name from the rest of the day. They focus on preserving the non-economic realms of life: the family, civil society, religion, culture, history, the environment, etc.

Many 5 to 9 conservatives are actually political liberals. For instance, environmentalists, historical preservationists, and promoters of walkable communities, mixed-used development, human-scale architecture, and public spaces are all objectively conservatives of the 5 to 9 variety (regardless of any genuinely liberal positions they might also hold). But politically they tend to be left-of-center and at odds with the commercial interests championed by 9 to 5 conservatives.

There is good reason why the two kinds of conservatives are at loggerheads. Unlimited economic freedom tends to corrode the other realms of society. The best way to appreciate this is to consider working hours. In America today, we do not have a 9 to 5 economy. We have a 24/7 economy.

As a bohemian intellectual, I can’t complain about this. I find it very convenient to be able to go out at 4:00 am to buy a carton of milk from a meth-zombie. Americans living in Germany are shocked that most stores are closed by 6:00 pm and are not open at all on weekends. It forces them to actually plan ahead, one of the many faculties that American life has allowed to grow slack.

The reason why Germany and other countries regulate the hours of businesses is not because they are “socialists” or “liberals.” It is because they are 5 to 9 conservatives. They realize that shop clerks have friends and families and communities. Work days are regulated so that more people can spend the 5 to 9 hours, and weekends, with their families and friends. Yes, such laws inconvenience us insofar as we are consumers. But we are more than consumers. We have families, friends, communities. Or we should have them.

Why does the government have to get involved? Say that there are no laws regulating the hours of retail establishments. If one firm decides they will extend their evening hours to increase their market share, others will be pressured to follow. Eventually, through the magic of the marketplace, we will compete our way into a 24/7 economy, in which there will be entire industries where the entry level jobs often taken by young people who have children (or should have them) are on aptly-named “graveyard” shifts.

From a social point of view, this is a profoundly destructive development. And from an economic point of view, it is destructive too, since the same amount of milk is sold in a 24 hour day as would be sold in a 10 hour day, yet all are forced to keep the lights on and the buildings manned 24/7 lest they lose their market share.

F. Roger Devlin uses an excellent analogy [3] to illustrate the nature of destructive competition. Imagine you are seated at a sports event. It might be to your advantage to stand up to see an exciting play. But if one person stands, then others will be forced to stand as well. Eventually, everyone will be standing, so the advantage to any individual of standing will be erased. Everyone will have just as good a view of the game as when they started, but they will all be less comfortable . . . because they are standing. The only way to stop this sort of destructive competition is for people in authority to legislate and enforce rules against it. The same goes for the economic realm.

The idea of 5 to 9 conservatism is useful to White Nationalists, because we are 5 to 9 conservatives ourselves. After all, we are concerned to preserve our race, and we are willing to do battle with the 9 to 5 conservatives who are destroying us by importing non-white labor to take white jobs, or exporting white jobs to non-white countries.

The distinction between 5 to 9 and 9 to 5 conservatism is also helpful for envisioning new political alliances—and breaking up existing ones. In America today, the major political parties are coalitions, both of which include significant numbers of 5 to 9 conservatives.

Among Republicans, the 5 to 9 conservatives tend to be religious conservatives and traditionalists. Among Democrats, the 5 to 9 conservatives tend to be environmentalists, consumer advocates, historical preservationists, new urbanists, and the like.

In both parties, the 5 to 9 conservatives tend to be overwhelmingly white. Furthermore, in both parties, 5 to 9 conservatives are exploited by party leaders for their votes. Finally, in the end, 5 to 9 conservative interests are vetoed by the leaders of the major parties, because their primary focus is the promotion of socially corrosive ideologies: economic liberalism for the Republicans, social liberalism for the Democrats. It would be enormously subversive/productive if 5 to 9 conservatives could free themselves from the corrosive ideology of liberalism, whether of the left or the right.

It would be interesting to bring together 5 to 9 conservatives from across the political spectrum to begin a dialogue. I think they would discover that they have a lot more in common than they think. It is a conversation in which we White Nationalists need to take part. We need to be there to help bring their implicit whiteness to full consciousness. We must show them that their values are the products of homogeneous white communities and cannot be preserved without them. We need to explain to them that the leaders of the major parties are exploiting and betraying them. And we cannot neglect to explain to them why both parties pursue Jewish interests at the expense of white interests.

It is also important to help them understand that before the emergence of the modern aberrations of economic and political liberalism, the mainstream of Western political thought from Aristotle through the American Founders recognized that a free society requires private property broadly distributed and stably possessed, and that to achieve this end, a certain amount of economic regulation is necessary.

In the end, White Nationalists are more than mere conservatives, for although a lot of what we want can be captured by the idea of 5 to 9 conservatism, it is not enough. From my Nietzschean/Spenglerian point of view, mere conservatism is not really an alternative to decadence. Instead, it is a form of decadence, for a healthy organism does not merely preserve or repeat the past, but carries it forward and transforms it creatively. But politically speaking, conservatism comes first, since our race needs to survive before we can worry about the luxury of self-perfection.