Culture Wars/Current Controversies

The Enemy of My Enemy

This is a pretty good critique/overview of “national conservatism” but it fails to point out the most important thing about it, which is that national conservatism is the latest neocon front movement. Notice that two of the movement’s leading intellectuals are a (likely) Pahlavist and an actual Israeli Zionist. In response to the rise of Trumpism, some neocons have attempted to recolonize the Democrats. Others have tried to work the Never Trumper angle. Some have tried to embed themselves in Trumpism.  Others have tried to work multiple angles simultaneously. Now, we see the neocons trying to create an American Orbanism with direct Likud and anti-Iranian connections.

By Robert Tracinski Quillette

During a recent conference of nationalist conservatives—a faction attempting to bring intellectual substance and coherence to the political phenomenon of Trumpism—one of the movement’s leading figures, Yoram Hazony, proposed “a new deal between national conservatives and traditionalists on the one hand, and anti-Marxist liberals on the other.”

This new coalition is intended to replace the American Right’s “fusionist” alliance between religious conservatives, free-marketers, and Cold War hawks, who were once drawn together by their shared antipathy to communism. Nationalists now regard fusionism with disdain, and by proposing an alliance with the center-Left, Hazony and his faction hope to downgrade the free-marketers and freeze out the secular libertarians.

The Enemy of My Enemy

This new alliance is a terrible idea, and liberals would be well-advised to treat Hazony’s offer with a whole lot of skepticism. Yet it seems that some of them are taking him up on it.

There is a basic rift on the “anti-woke” Right that is increasingly coming out into the open. Some of us oppose the censorious conformism of the social-justice Left because we are classical liberals who believe that freedom of speech and inquiry are critical to the functioning of a free society. Then there are those whose opposition rests on the belief that they should be the ones imposing limits on free inquiry in the name of traditional values. They don’t want a free society, they want a virtuous society, in which their idea of virtue is promoted by government.

The nationalist conservatives are in the second camp. During his speech at the recent conference, for example, journalist Josh Hammer denounced the classical liberal wing of the Right as “effete, limp, and unmasculine, because it removes from the political arena, and consigns to the ‘private’ sphere, the very value judgments and critical questions that most affect our humanity and our civilization.”


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