Re: Best of Paleocon Media (and other non-WN)
To my knowledge, “conservative” wasn’t a part of the American political lexicon until the mid-twentieth century. The state’s rights ideology has a much older lineage, but it was associated with the Southern Democrats who bolted the New Deal coalition over LBJ’s support for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. My ancestors didn’t call themselves “conservatives.” They were segregationists, racialists, “State’s Rights Democrats.” A weak central government for them was necessary to ward off a Northern dominated federal government from interfering in Dixie’s unique social system.
I’m no expert on the subject, but I want to say that “conservative” was popularized by William F. Buckley’s National Review during the 1950s. “Conservative” was an established political tendency within the GOP by the time of Barry Goldwater’s presidential campaign in 1964. “Conservatives” were people who believed in small government and low taxes. Goldwater would later become notorious for his opposition to the “social conservatives” (newly minted) who defected to the GOP from the Democratic Party.
“Conservatism” used to be synonymous with “classical liberal.” American conservatives were people who disagreed with FDR’s revision of liberalism in the wake of the Great Depression. They wanted to return to an earlier version of liberalism which was averse to using government as a tool to redistribute wealth ("reform liberals” came to believe that concentrated economic power was a threat to personal liberty and equality).
James Newland is correct to distinguish between American conservatism and European conservatism. “Conservative” was a dirty word in liberal America until the 1950s/1960s. It was generally associated with “reactionary.” In America, “conservatism” is merely a species of liberalism whereas in Europe it is more closely identified with religion, monarchy, custom, etc. European conservatives don’t believe that “freedom” and “equality” are the highest goods.
There has never been a European style “conservatism” in America to stand in the way of the progress of liberalism. There were, however, illiberal tendencies within the American mainstream that traditionally acted to restrain this ideology. First and foremost amongst these was racialism. Racial identity took an importance in the United States unique in the Western world. Religion was another restraining force. A weaker since of ethnic identity also once put the brakes on liberalism.
No more. The significance of the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s is that all the non-liberal elements of Americanism were finally expunged from our national identity. We are united by nothing other than our allegiance to liberal ideology. Americans no longer share the same ancestry, history, culture, or religion. “Conservatives” have endorsed this consensus. For conservatives, to be an American is nothing more than having U.S. citizenship and believing in “principles” like non-discrimination. We are an ideological nation like the Soviet Union now.
Conservatives like Zmirak wonder why our culture has become so debased. The answer is that Americanism is nothing but liberalism. Conservatism is liberalism - which explains its exhaustion. We are racing forward to the final dénouement when our standard of living collapses and whites become a minority in America.
Let’s see how popular “conservatism” remains then.
Posted by Prozium on Feb 03, 2008.