Beating back modern Lincolnism

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 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.”

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4 thoughts on “Beating back modern Lincolnism

  1. Bede

    Unlike the the “movement conservatism” in the U.S. which has largely tied itself to corporate interests (whether the footsoldiers know it or not), the new right-wing parties in Europe (which have gained victories in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, etc.) have the advantage that they are not tied to big business.

  2. roho

    I have to believe that the “Old Dixiecrats” of the Democratic Party may have had it right? Other than the “Jim Crow Laws” they held the moral high ground, and that may be in question if one asks where the violent offensive culture of today had it’s roots?(Obviously not from places like Valdosta Ga, Cullman Al, and Meridian Miss?)…….These people slept with unlocked doors up until the mid sixties.

    The Liberal Northeasterners seized the concept of “Lincoln Worshiping” from the GOP immediately making “Democracy” the pinnacle of their cult, while the GOP assumed everyone understood America to be a “Constitutional Republic” and simply went after the money.

    It scares me that our Armed Military continues to swear alligience to the constitution, yet their actions continue to be alligience to the Executive Branch and the military industrial complex.

    That was a hard sale even for Mr. Lincoln……….I suspect that the media has bastardized “Conservatism” to the point that many more are conservatives but vote liberal out of ignorance and misinformation?

  3. Fernando Barragão

    Good afternoon, gentlemen.

    As a Portuguese young man (and, of course, a European), I’d like to congratulate you on your blog. It’s always refreshing to see that the kind of conservatism I grew up with has followers across the Atlantic (the ocean, not the magazine).
    I would like to point out some suggestions for the Conservative Resources section, namely Right-Wing European Parties. Since Bede correctly states they have become useful alternatives to the stale mainstream, some clarification is required.

    In my own country, Portugal, National Renewal Party has some interesting things to say, and you’ve noticed it. What you may not know is that it’s also known the “skinheads’ party”, which it is, up to a point. So many of them are seen at party initiatives that they may actually drive away some potential future members. Their nationalism should be more distinctly Portuguese, hence, more consistent in doctrine. Salazar’s writings may help.
    I’d add People’s Monarchist Party (, New Democracy Party ( and Freedom Party ( In case of doubt, I’ll be more than pleased to translate some content.

    From Germany, I’d add the Republicans ( and the German Social Union (
    From Italy, The Right ( and Libertarian Right (
    Finally, I’d recommend Philippe de Villiers’ Movement for France (, British UKIP (, and two Polish ones: Real Politics Union ( and the League of Polish Families (

    These will do for now. After all, this is a conservative blog. It needs conservatives, and I believe I “supplied” some.


  4. James


    You hit upon something that has been worrying me of late. The very coherence of Conservatism has been lost. When Rush Limbaugh is viewed as your intellectual leader you know you are in trouble. Of course, the Left controls the media, but they also define who their own opposition is in the struggle for the public mind. Its no surprize that they pick the weakest opponents possible and thus leave genuine, serious conservative thinkers out in the cold.


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