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This should be required reading for every...for every...for everyone.

Wow. Thanks. That's quite a compliment.

A great reason to give up on the word "conservative" is that by its definition, the conservative is always on the defensive, always fighting the rear-guard action.

I've yet to see fruitful efforts toward an identity based on positive goods. Right now I make do calling myself a traditionalist, or reactionary with a little more levity.

I don't really mind those connotations. In fact I sort of like them: the idea of defying the zeitgeist etc. But that's only as long as we're strictly in the socio-political context. The vision of the positive good comes from the faith, which transcends those categories and terms.

To be truly Catholic one must be both a traditionalist and a radical, critiquing change by the standards, as you say, of the Good, the True, the Beautiful.
Surely one cannot be a reactionary; surely there has been societal progress on many fronts. I think it a good thing that people no longer make a picnic out of public torture and execution. I think it a good thing that casual racism is no longer tolerated, or that blacks are not legally discriminated against (though we still have a long way to go on that front). Beating one's wife and children is no longer socially exceptable. I can think of any number of other areas where there has been real progress.
On the other hand, of course, modernity has been a two edged sword, and society has regressed on a lot of fronts: legal abortion, destruction of the extended family, casual divorce, etc.

wrote a long comment that was erased when my money abruptly ran out. that´´s progress!

Darn! I have no doubt it would have been an interesting comment.

"...surely there has been societal progress on many fronts...On the other hand..."

Yes, I think about this often, and most of the time I do conclude that there has been a net improvement. It's generally a two-steps-forward, at-least-one-step-back sort of process.

my feet hurt so much I have forgotten it!

I hope you're not taking two steps forward and one back on this journey.

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