Thursday, May 4, 2023

The Futility of Right-Wing Squabbling

Bill Kristol, Donald Trump

Dr. Daniel Pitt, a fantastic conservative thinker, writer, and professor of politics at the University of Sheffield, is well worth a follow on Twitter. His tweets connote a kind of conservatism that I like to call "positive conservatism", free of partisan platitudes and unnecessary combative rhetoric. 

I've written about him for my blog before. You can find that here. 

Here's a sanguine post of his from a few days ago:

I'm afraid, though, that many so-called conservatives don't understand this point. Conservatism, to many social media provocateurs, seems to be less about love, and more about nasty internal skirmishing.  

Right now it is the NatCons (a term that derives from the Edmund Burke Foundation's National Conservatism project) and more libertarian-adjacent conservatives that are feuding relentlessly. I've heard some refer to the latter group as Freedom-Cons to convey their allegiance to classical liberalism. The former group, conversely, appears to be much more open to the idea of state involvement and Hamiltonian economic policy (sometimes referred to as industrial policy or protectionism). 

Okay, I'm digressing here...

The bottom line is that these two groups are not preaching the "positive conservatism" doctrine; they are, instead, engaging in a rather mean-spirited ideological civil war, wherein the NatCons call the libertarian-types "neoconservatives" (which is now commonly used as a pejorative by populist MAGA-types) and the libertarian-types say that the NatCons are insufficiently versed in the foundational conservative texts (Edmund Burke, David Hume, etc...). 

But where is the love? All I see is bickering...

We ought to get back to, what is sometimes referred to as "small-c conservatism", defined as a reverence for tradition, community, and Western culture. 

William Schambra is a great person to check out. I encourage you to read this piece he wrote for The Brookings Review in 1997.  


Post a Comment