As menacing as open anarchists are those who discredit traditional institutions, not by attack, but by excess exploitation. The man who uses our institutions and Law as a barrier to, instead of a vehicle for, democratic reform is the real anarchist. I don't care a hoot whether any country, including ours, decides to use capitalism or socialism or any other material-ism, so long as it is attained through the vehicle of the traditional framework; so long as it is orthodoxly baptized and knighted by the magic wand of tradition; so long as it does not live 'without the Law.' I repeat: if moral absolutes do not exist, it is not so much the worse for them, but so much the worse for existence.
During the nineteenth century, all external standards and absolutes were one by one sacrificed at the altar of dynamic 'Life.' A pseudo-Darwinian war of all against all, for survival of the most ferocious or most lucky, becomes exalted as a healthy expression of dynamic Life-force. I suggest coining 'dynamism' as the label for this new, unchristian religion, this cult of power, instinct, blind change, blind Life. Dynamism means energy and, change for their own sake. It means playing the grand man-of-action merely for action's sake, the deification of such men-of-action as Fuhrers. Among dynamism's current incarnations is the unrestrained egoism of persons, nations, and classes. Gangsterism becomes a heroic romantic duty.
Society, as 1 would conserve it, would rest on five great self-disciplines: rule of reason in the individual, Christian ethics between individuals, Law in the state, free parliamentary negotiation among political parties, peace by negotiation among nations. Dynamism smashes all five of these great self-disciplines. Today the Nazis most radically incarnate dynamism. No wonder a current best seller refers to their 'Revolution of Nihilism'!
Dynamism, I believe, will some day be recognized as the most destructive and 'radical' revolution of modern times. It strikes at the root. Its modern rival, Marxism, retains at least the traditional respect for reason. The basis of the western world is the disciplining of life's energies and instincts by the supremacy of rational and ethical Law. Here our Christianity combines and conserves the legalistic heritage of the Jews and of the Greco-Roman Empire. In contrast, dynamism glories in the revolt of expansive Life-force against Law's 'dead shackles.' Transferred from individual to nation, such dynamism becomes lynch law: the 'healthy' and natural mob instincts of what Nazis call 'the Volk' and Reds call 'the masses.'
With the most passionate intensity, I resent the no-third-way sophistry of forcing American students to choose only from the alternatives of fascists and Marxists. Dynamic fascism, as it is sweeping Europe, is idealism diabolized. Economism, its opposite, whether of capitalist or Marxist brand, is materialism deified. Dynamism is immoral, economic materialism is unmoral; take your choice! Both are present to some degree in all societies. Either in excess explodes the civilization we conservatives would conserve. Our fight as young Americans is twofold: against our established cult of economism and mammon worship, and against all attempts to import fascism in its place.