Monday, July 31, 2006

Conservative Movement, RIP

The latest issue of The American Conservative contains a symposium on Left and Right in America and whether such terms have any meaning. There were a few interesting pieces in the issue, but all I could think of is how much I miss Samuel Francis. Francis minced no words for the American Right, particularly the neocons, a movement of "Beautiful Losers":

Nearly sixty years after the New Deal, the American Right is no closer to challenging its fundamental premises and machinery than when Old Rubberlegs first started priming the pump and scheming to take the United States into a war that turned out to be a social and political revolution. American conservatism, in other words, is a failure, and all the think tanks, magazines, direct-mail barons, inaugural balls, and campaign buttons cannot disguise or alter it. Virtually every cause to which conservatives have attached themselves for the past three generations has been lost, and the tide of political and cultural battle is not likely to turn anytime soon.


Read the rest by clicking here and scrolling to May. The essay originally appeared in symposium in Chronicles magazine in 1991. I miss Sam.

If you are interested in my much less insightful musings on the state of conservatism, click here, here, here, and here.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The latest issue of The American Conservative contains a symposium on Left and Right in America and whether such terms have any meaning.

In 'terms' of how the country would look after an election, it is not unreasonable to wonder -- how much really depends on who wins? For example, will it ever be possible to do away with SS, or to phase it out? I think not. Yet something like that ought to be on the agenda of every 'conservative'. But political reality, i.e. the need to get elected in the midst of an incredibly shallow popular and political culture, suggests significant change will be nearly impossible. These things develop a certain...inertia.

6:16 AM  
Blogger Darrell said...

I agree that it really doesn't matter at all--and the problem, as you say, is largely a cultural one. We've met the enemy, and it is us.

The Left, however, is still engaged in subverting what little remains of a Christian social order. However, I don't see conservatives fighting back. Seems at this point that it is almost imperative to be a reactionary. If we can't turn the clock back, perhaps we can take it off the wall, throw it on the ground and stomp on it a few times.

9:14 PM  

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