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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Glenn Beck's Comrade Update

I am glad to see someone in the national media will acknowledge the nature of Obama's "change", and can see at least some of the big picture:

I've watched Beck enough to know that he is in fact a conservative, not a libertarian. His positive program for government and foreign policy is not the same as mine. But with Obama bringing Rooseveltism back like Justin Timberlake brought "sexy," and the cause of freedom ever in need of allies, I was glad to be reminded in the new issue of The American Conservative of this excerpt from Murray Rothbard's "Life in the Old Right":

The Old, original, Right realized the horrors of the New Deal and predicted the collectivist road on which it was setting the nation. The Old Right was a coalition of ideologies and forces that did not have one single, common, positive program, but "negatively" it was solidly united: all opposed the New Deal and were committed to its total repeal and abolition – lock, stock, and barrel. The fact that its unity was "negative" did not make it any less strong or cohesive: for there was total agreement on rolling back this collective excrescence and on restoring the Old Republic, the true America. [...]

Unity in our hostility and hatreds, however, combined with diversity of positive principle, had a healthy effect on the Old Right. It meant that we could unite and act together in denouncing and moving against the New Deal enemy, while disagreeing and arguing in friendly fashion among ourselves about the kind of America we would ultimately like to achieve. How much government did we wish to roll back? Stop at 1932, or press onward to repeal Progressive measures or even the centralization of the nineteenth century? We were all committed to states' rights, but how far did we want to carry this view? A few libertarian extremists wanted to go all the way back to the Articles of Confederation, but the great bulk of the right was committed to the United States Constitution – but a Constitution construed so "strictly" as to outlaw much twentieth-century legislation, certainly on the federal level. [...]

Friendly disagreement on positive principles meant genuine and healthy diversity and freedom of discussion within right-wing circles. As Thomas Fleming noted with astonishment when researching the Old Right, there was no party line, and there was no organ or central GHQ that excommunicated "unrespectable" members. There was a wide spectrum of positive views: ranging from pure libertarian decentralization to Hamilitonian reliance on strong government within rigid limits to various wings of monarchists. And in all this diversity and range of discourse, no one would react in shock and horror to any "extreme" views – so long as the "extremism" did not mean selling out the fight against the New Deal. There was also a great deal of disagreement on specific policies that had been open questions in the Old, pre-New Deal, Republic: tariffs vs. free trade; immigration restrictions vs. open borders; and what constitutes a military or foreign policy truly consistent with American national interests.

Oh yes -- and comrades, if you're thinking that the old Hymn of the Soviet Union could do with some updating for the USSA, Joshua Snyder is already one step ahead of you.

(h/t The Stig in the comments)

Read some of my previous thoughts on the Old Right tradition and what it means for Canadians today.

Posted by Kalim Kassam on February 5, 2009 | Permalink


Glenn Beck calling a "spade a spade" or Obama's politics communism as it were.

Is Obama a Marxist?

We will know within four years.

There is no one talking head or media journalist in Canada willing to label Canada's Taliban Jack Layton's ND's or Gilles Duceppe's Bloc as communist parties.

But I will.

Posted by: Joe Molnar | 2009-02-05 2:16:25 PM


i'm not a talking head - but i can let you know that "mon oncle" gilles was a tried and true maoist until well into his thirties.

and jack - well he can rot in pravda.

Posted by: johnnyonline | 2009-02-06 7:13:16 PM

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