History and Historiography

The Worst Purges Come From the Right

One of the problems with “movement conservatism” of the Buckley-Goldwater-Reagan axis was that it was never anything more than a means of providing ideological cover for the military-industrial-complex and American empire-builders, which is why the isolationists have always been the main group that has been unwelcome in “conservative” circles, followed anti-cosmopolitans who are offensive to the uber-imperialist neocons.

By Paul Gottfried


Recently C. Bradley Thompson responded obliquely to my critical comments in Chronicles about his book and subsequent observations on the American Founding. Contrary to Thompson’s asides on Facebook and Twitter dismissing my criticism, I did read some of his tome, The Revolutionary Mind, and even commented on it—but I found its discussion of our state-builders so tendentious and unscholarly that after a few chapters I gave up. His attribution of recognizably Randian, agnostic, or atheistic views to the Founders was a bit much.

In any case, my critical analyses of Thompson’s writings are supposedly reducible to “smears” and even more ominously, to my identification with what he called the “TradCon reactionary Right.” Those on Thompson’s right remain unfit to mention, let alone deserve serious discussion from the conservative establishment, which supposedly praises Thompson as a brilliant researcher. Who am I to belittle anyone who has earned an interview on “The Dave Rubin Show” and whom National Review treats as a clubbable thinker?


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