Left and Right

Radosh’s Rant Against the Old Right

By Paul Gottfried,  Chronicles

A recent posting on neocon-lite website, Quillette, by its go-to authority on foreign affairs, Ronald Radosh, makes unkind references to Pat Buchanan, Pedro Gonzalez, and me:

The current issue of Chronicles, meanwhile, includes an article by Pat Buchanan condemning President Biden’s “vilification” of Putin, while in another, Paul Gottfried cries “Long Live Orbán!” and elsewhere blasts neoconservatives for promoting “Grotesque Ideological Imperialism.”

These maliciously intended references turn up amid attacks on Compact, a new online publication edited by Sohrab Ahmari, which seeks to blend social conservatism with economic socialism, and which shares Chronicles’ long-held noninterventionist foreign policy stance. Radosh’s main complaint is that some members of the Old Right are not sufficiently hostile to Putin, so I’ve no idea why I am cited along with those who have been blasting the Ukrainians, since I have been unequivocal in my condemnation of Putin’s invasion.

Unlike Quillette and its preferred neoconservative publicists, however, I and other Chronicles writers have in our current issue, “Not Our War,” also observed problems with the behavior of America and NATO that may have tipped Putin’s hand. These include the continuing eastward extension of an anti-Russian NATO and the U.S. State Department’s involvement in the 2014 overthrow of the duly elected Ukrainian government. Pedro Gonzalez holds admittedly more negative views of the Ukrainian side of this conflict than I do, but this does not hinder us from working together, since we on the Old Right actually do believe in open discussion.

The open discussion that we affirm at Chronicles is not just about allowing neocons to dialogue with leftists, as is the case at Quillette, National Review, and other neoconservative-dominated publications. We actually think people on the right, including the traditional right, should be allowed to disagree, without having the conservative establishment purge dissenters.

Radosh, meanwhile, seems infuriated that I’ve had nice things to say about a Hungarian conservative democrat, Viktor Orbán, and (to add insult to injury) that I have described Radosh’s fellow neocons as wacky imperialists. Of course, context is everything, and Radosh was citing me as a member of his rogues’ gallery for being critical of the neocon understanding (or non-understanding) of foreign policy, and for not supporting Orbán’s leftist competition in Hungarian politics. That Radosh hates Orbán should come as no surprise. After all, Radosh is also a neocon imperialist. He is in fact a relic of the anti-Soviet left that came into existence in reaction to Stalin but has since profitably merged with the neocon hive. Everything Radosh writes carries the familiar moldiness of the anti-Communist left, which, absent its neocon sponsors, would have mercifully disappeared.

Now that Stalin is gone, Radosh has new enemies to attack, like “isolationists,” a term of abuse for critics of his expansionist foreign policy aimed at inflicting the latest version of American democracy on the rest of humanity. This includes a factually flawed attack on the “isolationists” of the past, like his favorite whipping boy, the prominent post-war senator from Ohio, Robert A. Taft, who we profile in our current issue.

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Categories: Left and Right

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