“WHEN FOX television host Tucker Carlson recently attacked conservative faith in free market economics, he probably surprised a number of his viewers. For too long, Carlson charged, libertarians and social conservatives have ignored the fundamental part economic structures play in undermining communities. Families are crushed beneath market forces. Disposable goods—fueled by consumer culture—provide little salve for drug addiction and suicide. Markets are a “tool,” Carlson said, not a “religion.” “You’d have to be a fool to worship” them. …
Raymond English, a professor at Kenyon College, claimed that the basic assumption of “economic conservatism” was fundamentally the same as Marxism: that humans are economic beings, motivated by selfish materialism in a lifelong struggle. In English’s view, Marxists and libertarians both wrongly believed that political interference in economics could never “be for the general welfare,” only privileged classes. “Social reform is not the same as egalitarianism,” Viereck complained. “And why is any merely material and economic system more sacred than the moral duty of compassion for want? …
He told an associate he was “very glad” someone had “unambiguously stated what needs to be stated”: that “the conservative position is rooted in certain inflexible principles,” not “prescription.”
Kirk was furious. He complained that “two radical Jewish atheists,” one an anarchist and the other a former Marxist, presented themselves as “infallible authorities on One Hundred Percent Americanism. …”
Very good article.
I think lots of young people are just dismissing “conservatism” outright today because of all the people and policies it has become associated with whether it was George W. Bush and Iraq or now people like Glenn Beck, Charlie Kirk and David French who are the public face of the movement.
I’m also a conservative but the term is now so poisoned in the public mind that I prefer to use populist and nationalist. I like Southern conservatism, High Toryism and German conservatism which are all authoritarian, collectivist, organic and paternalistic versions of conservatism.
The conservative synthesis we need today would blend the German Historical School of Economics with a social conservatism drawn from Aristotle, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Alasdair MacIntyre, George Fitzhugh, Hegel, Nietzsche and Foucault. We would jettison liberalism root and branch and replace it with something new built on historicism. Alasdair MacIntyre was working toward this in his book Three Rival Versions of Moral Enquiry: Encyclopaedia, Genealogy and Tradition. MacIntyre was trying to create a new synthesis of these three schools of thought in the same way Aquinas did in the Middle Ages with Aristotelianism and Augustinianism.
Note: This was a great video. Tucker asks the million dollar question at the end: if the Chamber of Commerce and Conservatism, Inc. oppose it, what then? What do you do when Sheldon Adelson or the Koch Brothers come at you with their bags of cash? Do you sell out?