A Dissenting Voice

by RS on October 5, 2010

I’m trying to figure out how to create more conflict in Julius. Where things stand at the moment everything is going well for my Merry Marxists.  So I’m fooling around with the idea of having one of the minor characters, Craig, play a bigger role in the story.

Craig is Corinne’s old high school boyfriend. He is mildly obsessed with her. For him, she is the one that got away. The problem I’m having with this role expansion is how can he stir up some trouble for Corinne and Jake. It took me a couple of days to figure how Craig could create some conflict, and after knocking around a few ideas I decided to have him be the dissenting voice.

For those who’ve been following my trials and tribulations with Julius, you all know that it has a Marxist bent, but I felt the story would be so much better if I ruffled a few feathers within the narrative. So that meant back to the research. Since Corinne is obsessed with early and mid-20th century events that involved the CPUSA, the Spanish Civil War, the Rosenbergs, HUAC and the Hollywood Ten, I thought that it would be best to have Craig equally involved in mid-century conservatism. So after some digging around I came across Russell Kirk’s Canons (which I’ll list momentarily).

Kirk was known for his influence on 20th century American conservatism. From Wikipedia:

His 1953 book, The Conservative Mind, gave shape to the amorphous post-World War II conservative movement. It traced the development of conservative thought in the Anglo-American tradition, giving special importance to the ideas of Edmund Burke. Kirk was also considered the chief proponent of traditionalist conservatism.

Kirk developed six “canons” of conservatism they are:

  1. A belief in a transcendent order, which Kirk described variously as based in tradition, divine revelation, or natural law;
  2. An affection for the “variety and mystery” of human existence;
  3. A conviction that society requires orders and classes that emphasize “natural” distinctions;
  4. A belief that property and freedom are closely linked;
  5. A faith in custom, convention, and prescription, and
  6. A recognition that innovation must be tied to existing traditions and customs, which entails a respect for the political value of prudence.

Kirk said that Christianity and Western Civilization are “unimaginable apart from one another” and that “all culture arises out of religion. When religious faith decays, culture must decline, though often seeming to flourish for a space after the religion which has nourished it has sunk into disbelief.”

Apart from what I found online this is as much as I know about Kirk and I went ahead and ordered from Amazon The Conservative Mind from Burke to Eliot. I suspect this will be scary reading. But research is research, and if it helps tighten the story then so be it.

Nonetheless, I think that Craig advocating Kirk’s canons will make him into a fleshier character. And the conflict? Well, just as Julius launches, a snarky little blog will also see the light of day and will be Julius’ major enemy, causing problems for the Merry Marxists.

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