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Friday, June 19, 2009

"We’re not that interested in the future of Republicans or conservatives."

Right wing magazines in the Age of Obama:

For conservative commentators Mr. Obama’s election and the turmoil of the opposition present a changed environment, not only from the past eight years when Republicans held the White House, but from the previous three decades, when conservative ideas dominated the national political agenda.

Since the financial meltdown, though, many Americans have sought government action, prompting conservative magazines to refocus on first principles and refight battles they assumed had already been won.

“We’re seeing free-market capitalism trampled in some new way every 12 hours,” said Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, the magazine William F. Buckley started in 1955, which helped to create the conservative movement. Now, Mr. Lowry said, there is a need to restate “the eternal verities”: the free market, traditional social institutions and a tough-minded foreign policy.

To hell with your party, stick with your principles.  We're probably approaching, if not already past, the point of simply saying to hell with the Tories and going back to preaching first principles.


Of course, for conservatives, being in the minority is not exactly unfamiliar. When William F. Buckley published the first issue of National Review, he declared his magazine stood “athwart history yelling stop.” More than a half-century later, Mr. Lowry admitted that the November results were something of a relief. “We saw it coming,” he said, “Now we can stop warning and began to think about how to fix it in earnest. This is what we live for.”


Fight, fight, fight on.....

Posted by Richard Anderson on June 19, 2009 | Permalink

Comments

....said Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, the magazine William F. Buckley started in 1955, which helped to create the conservative movement.
Posted by PUBLIUS on June 19, 2009

Wow. There wasn't a conservative movement until 1955 in the US. That would probably be news to Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, etc.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-06-19 7:39:59 AM


"“We’re seeing free-market capitalism trampled in some new way every 12 hours,” said Rich Lowry, editor of National Review,"

The US, unfortunately, is no longer a capitalist economy. I'd say some weird cross between corporatism and socialism.

Posted by: Charles | 2009-06-19 7:45:04 AM


I'd say some weird cross between corporatism and socialism.
Posted by: Charles | 2009-06-19 7:45:04 AM

What's your definition of "corporatism"?

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-06-19 8:07:32 AM


Stig,

Corporatism occurs when gov't, with the support of corporate special interest groups, controls and regulates industries. The two most blatant examples in the US are the banking and health care industries.

Posted by: Charles | 2009-06-19 9:03:42 AM


"Wow. There wasn't a conservative movement until 1955 in the US. That would probably be news to Warren Harding, Calvin Coolidge, etc."

I would date the beginning of self-conscious American conservatism to 1953 with the publication of Russel Kirk's "The Conservative Mind." Prior to that, "conservative" was not a common classification in American political discourse and was associated with a distinctly European tradition. The New Right movement, which congealed around WFB and the National Review was the inheritor in many respects to prewar Old Right of Nock, Mencken, Flynn etc, but many of these "Rigtists" were identified as liberals rather than conservatives, but during interwar years the labels began to change. I think it was during the 30s that opponents of FDR came to be known as "conservatives," see for example the 1937 Bailey faction's "Conservative Manifesto."

Harding and Coolidge, in following what were traditionally (in the 19th century) Democratic Party principles and policies, might be fairly called small-government conservatives by today's standards, but I challenge you to find any contemporaries who called them that.

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2009-06-19 9:45:20 AM


“We’re seeing free-market capitalism trampled in some new way every 12 hours,” said Rich Lowry, editor of National Review,"

The only thing that has changed is the rate of trampling not the trampling per say, which has been going on for over a century with each successive wave of "progressivism" followed by conservative stabilization or slowed down decline (and the occasional push-back). Bush's "compassionate conservatism" (capitulation to congressional statism on domestic issues), all the while being framed by the MSM as a right wing capitalist, was in reality, an accelerant in this process. The current orgy of statism is simply part of a long term trend.

The only thing that can now slow this wave down is the discipline exerted from foreign creditors to force massive tax increases on the US middle class which will be suicidal to this Democratic congress.

Conservatives , Republicans and Libertarians are pretty much politically irrelevant for the time being. Perhaps it's time to forget politics for a while and get into the schools. Otherwise, in the long term, we are all either red or dead.

A good start would be to influence the political language in re-framing the landscape of left and right to statism versus liberty. One of the greatest legacies of the Hitler / Stalin (temporary) friendship was the mythical notion that fascism was somehow the opposite of communism, leaving no room for alternative ideologies (other than "moderate", ie progressive) between the two. By this twisted logic, the more "conservative" one is, the closer he is to fascism. This myth is now common political thinking. The statist high-jacking of the word liberal also requires correction. Perhaps today's conservatives, as variously more statist than libertarians, start calling themselves (neoclassical) liberals, leaving the current left libs to be called names describing statism (tyrants, authoritarians, socialists and fascists,etc)

Posted by: John Chittick | 2009-06-19 11:46:57 AM


Conservatives , Republicans and Libertarians are pretty much politically irrelevant for the time being. Perhaps it's time to forget politics for a while and get into the schools. Otherwise, in the long term, we are all either red or dead.

A good start would be to influence the political language in re-framing the landscape of left and right to statism versus liberty.

Posted by: John Chittick | 2009-06-19 11:46:57 AM

Good Post John, Couldn't agree more.

Posted by: The original JC | 2009-06-19 1:45:27 PM


...but I challenge you to find any contemporaries who called them that.
Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2009-06-19 9:45:20 AM

Andrew Mellon

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-06-19 5:01:44 PM


Corporatism occurs when gov't, with the support of corporate special interest groups, controls and regulates industries.
Posted by: Charles | 2009-06-19 9:03:42 AM

That's a rather new, American definition and not what most people mean when they define corporatism.

Posted by: The Stig | 2009-06-19 5:05:34 PM


There were conservative movements in America prior to the 1950's. In fact, the main center-right party the Republicans dominated national politics between 1860-1932(it was a lot more conservative then the Democrats under William Jennings Bryan or Woodrow Wilson). The difference is that from 1932-1980 conservatives had the Great Depression hung around their necks. Democrats continued to scapegoat Herbert Hoover until his death in 1964.During the 1930's and 40's, the country was ruled by liberal Democrat presidents who had(with the exception of 1946-1948) large number advantages in Congress. The conservative movement of the 1950's was strengthened by staunch anti-communism, most workers obtaining white collar employment, and increasingly leftist supreme court decisions. This movement was further strengthened with the rise of the 1960's counterculture and its attempt to undermine all traditional values(guns, abortion, school prayer, 10 commandment displays, the death penalty, etc.). The eventual result was Reagan's 1980 victory and conservatives largely calling the shots from 1980-2008 when Obama showed up!

Posted by: Jerry | 2009-06-20 1:18:42 AM


There were conservatives before Russell Kirk's The Conservative Mind, but the term was simply not widely used in America. It smacked of British or Continental politics, of the parties that tried to preserve the old aristocratic system. Kirk made the term palatable to American thinkers, as well as identifying a strain of thought that had gone by other names and movements. Kirk described John Adams as a conservative, though Adams' party was called Federalist. The term conservative only came into wide British usage in the 1830s, after the Tamworth Manifesto, yet the British Tory party dates from the 1670s.

Posted by: Publius | 2009-06-20 7:22:07 AM



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