Daniel Larison’s article on moden-day Lincolnism that appeared in its Chronicles’ February is outstanding. Given all the discussion about “Is conservatism dead?” (Is God dead? Is the theater dead? Is post-exestentialism dead? Do you see how trite this gets?), Larison really cut to the heart of what is the ruling ideology of the U.S. (regardless of president and party) and the world really and what must oppose it. That opposition in the U.S. one can trace a linear from Stephen Douglas to Grover Cleveland to Robert LaFollette to Charles Lindbergh Sr. to Robert Taft, Barry Goldwater and so forth.
If what is dead is “movement conservatism,” so be it. Conservatism was never intended to be a “movement”, it’s supposed to be a state of mind and yet thanks to a bunch of leftists (who cares if they are ex or not they still retained the same mindset) from Willi Schlamm on down to Irving Kristol, an ideology was created no different than the ideologies spewed forth from the Englightenment. As Austin Bramwell pointed out, this ideology, like all ideologies, soon quickly degenerated into a totalitarian mindset that tolerates no dissent and attacks its enemies in the shrillest and most shameless forms possible. What we here at CHT and others who write in blogs and publications throughout the country and the world represent is a group of writers, intellectuals and just plain ordinary people who are fed up with being told from isolated so-called “leaders” on high what to say, how to say it and which leader we must support and or listen to in order to be considered a part of the “movement.”
On the other hand, if conservatism can become a broad critique of the dictatorial rule of the monied interest and the multicultural interest and its rule over Washington and the Western World and can be broadened into a coalittion with likeminded libertarians and liberals also willing to break free of establishment rule, then you’ll have something alive and kicking.
Read this good article from Kevin DeAnna at Takimag.com on the meltodwn in Iceland and why the Left will benefit more so than the right and for this reason, something conservatives must ponder seriously:
“However, the center-right in Iceland, as the Communists in China, defined the core of their legitimacy as ensuring economic growth. Once this was lost, they have nothing else to offer.…. Is there a right wing alternative to capitalism? If not, is there a way to build a movement behind real capitalism as enduring as that behind the fighting spirit of the Left? These are the questions that need to confronted by those of us on the Right today, if we are to build a fighting faith that resist the End of History represented by social democracy. Iceland holds a warning, but no answers.”