The Great Purge: The Deformation of the Conservative Movement Reply

I have a chapter in this book where I argued that the postwar conservative movement was nothing other than a front for the military-industrial complex and right-wing of the US ruling class (the Sunbelt industries that were in conflict with the “northeastern establishment”). The other authors were all veterans of the conservative movement who realized that William F. Buckley functioned as a gatekeeper whose purpose was to ensure that the actual US right-wing did not interfere with corporate and CIA objectives, leading to the eventual alliance between the Buckleyites and neoconservatives (right-wing social democrats/Trotskyists). The thrust of my argument is that the anti-“big government” rhetoric of what the paleocons called “Conservativism, Inc.” was never anything more than a ruse whose purpose was to recruit the old bourgeoisie, the petite bourgeoisie, and what Sam Francis calls the “post-bourgeois proletariat” as useful idiots for the Empire. An earlier draft of my contribution is available here. Another article where I make essentially the same argument is available here. As I concluded the latter article:

“Indeed, given the phenomenal success of the ‘conservatives’ in expanding military spending and military interventionism, and their phenomenal failure everything else, one might be tempted to argue that the former was the only issue that ever really mattered all along, and that the grassroots economic, fiscal, social, cultural, religious and patriotic conservatives who comprised the activist base and key voting blocks were, to use an ironic Leninist term, nothing more than “useful idiots.”

Available at Amazon.

A central crucible in the evolution of the American Right has been “the purge”-that is, the expulsion, often in an explicit fashion, of views or individuals deemed outside the bounds of “respectability.” Victims include the John Birch Society, Peter Brimelow, John Derbyshire, Sam Francis, Revilo P. Oliver, Murray Rothbard, foreign-policy makers deemed “isolationists,” immigration reformers, and many others. This essay collection is an attempt to better understand conservative ideology (often euphemized as “timeless principles”) and how it functioned within its historic context and responded to power, shifting conceptions of authority, and societal changes. Through the purges, we can glimpse what conservatism is not, those aspects of itself it has attempted to deny, mask, leave behind, and forget, and the ways in which memories can be reconstructed around new orthodoxies. Contributors include Peter Brimelow, Lee Congdon, John Derbyshire, Samuel T. Francis, Paul Gottfried, James Kalb, Keith Preston, William Regnery, and Richard Spencer.

 

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