Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Future of American Conservatism

It looks every bit as ahistorical and illiterate as its present, judging from these reviews of a new book edited by Jonah Goldberg (which is enough to condemn it) — Right Future and A Book of Their Own.

"Few of these writers on conservatism exhibit any evidence that they are also readers of conservatism," says Daniel J. Flynn in the first review. "And youth’s fetish for the personal narrative, perhaps here editorially imposed, leaves the reader groaning ay-ay-ay at the frequent appearances of 'I.'"

Gerald J. Russello, in the second reviews, says, "Rather than take to the libraries, as an earlier generation of right-wingers might have, and discover the actual Western tradition being denigrated in class, these younger conservatives are not surprisingly tempted to engage the enemy on its own personal-is-political terms."

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2 Comments:

Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

Another big problem is that the rising tide of young thinkers on the Right aren't conservatives at all, but rather are libertarians. The reason they don't flock to the libraries to read about Western Civ. is because they don't really believe the idea of a conservative tradition at all. They are in the grip of what Russell Kirk rightly identified as an ideology. Rather than being committed to the Permanent Things, they have bought into a unsustainable vision of license rather than liberty.

1:16 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

"Rather than being committed to the Permanent Things, they have bought into a unsustainable vision of license rather than liberty."

Very well said.

I'd categorize them as libertines rather than libertarians, but my understanding of the term "libertarian" is a bit skewed because the first and only "libertarians" I ever gave an ear to were Lew Rockwell and Ron Paul. Thus, I hold them as the gold standard of libertarianism, when in fact they are quite marginal figures.

These young folk used to self-describe as "pomocons" (postmodern conservatives), so in my mind they're even more degraded than neocons. Also, this may be extreme, but I'd say no decent person would associate himself with Jonah Goldberg.

9:00 PM  

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