Rothbard argued that socialism was a quasi-conservative reaction against the radicalism of the Enlightenment, classical liberalism, the market/industrial revolutions, capitalism, and the resulting social dislocations and upheavals.
Socialism was rooted in Counter-Enlightenment, Romantic, and anti-liberal thinkers like the counterrevolutionaries, Rousseau, and Hegel. There were feudal socialists, bourgeois socialists, utopian socialists, and revolutionary socialists.
Marxism was the far left end of socialism but still had a quasi-conservative dimension with its Rousseauvian and Hegelian influences.
In the West, socialism becomes fused with capitalism and assumes different forms in different countries: Crolyite American progressivism, English Fabianism of the Webbs and Shaw, Bismarckian Prussian socialism, and Bernsteinian social democracy.
In the East and in the colonies, where Enlightenment liberalism never took root, socialism assumed the Marxist-Leninist form, and the resurrection of the god-emperor states of antiquity in the form of personality cults built around Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Kim, Ho, Castro, and Pol Pot.
In other words, Asiatic and Third World socialisms were forms of ultra-conservatism.
Meanwhile, in the Nordic and Latin countries, the reactionary counterattack against liberalism assumed the form of a hybrid of socialism and conservatism, i.e. fascism and national socialism.
As Antony Sutton demonstrated, industrial development in Soviet Russia was made possible only through collaboration with Western capital.
The liberal-capitalist ruling classes of the West then hired Russian and East Asian communists as de facto mercenaries for the purpose of defeating the fascist and national socialist insurgency against liberalism from the right.
The defeat of fascism led to the dominance of Eurasia by the Soviets and a series of communist revolutions in East Asia and the Global South. The economic unsustainability of the Soviet model led to its collapse and adoption of national-capitalism.
Chinese industrialization and technological development were made possible through the same model as the Soviets originally identified by Sutton, collaboration with Western capital. Hence, the China opening and a defacto Rockefeller-Maoist alliance expanded in the form of Dengism.
Meanwhile, the “West” (the postwar American empire and its satellites) made the same mistake that all empires eventually make, overextension. And now Western liberal-capitalism is in a renewed set of great power rivalries with Eastern national-capitalism.
And now, the digital capitalist revolution in the West has created a new ruling class in the forms of the tech and financial oligarchs, who are a new aristocracy, and PMC, who are a new clerisy, and renewed many of the class antagonisms of the industrial revolution.
The Western “right” is now a collection of traditional working to middle-class sectors, petite bourgeoisie and proletarians, whose livelihoods are being lost to digital capitalism, globalization, and neoliberalism.
These sectors are comparable to the artisans, craftsmen, small farmers, and peasants whose livelihoods were lost to the industrial revolution. Just as these sectors were forced into proletarianism our declining working to middle classes are being forced into the gig economy, the precariat, reproletarianized service industry labor, debt slavery, and homelessness.
While the Western right are reactionaries, seeking to preserve what is being lost or turn back the clock to what was, the Western left have become the “new conservatives.”