Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Dangers of Conservative Populism

...are eloquently reviewed by Matt Sitman. For one thing, all forms of populism easily degenerate into status or identity politics, into resentment easily exploited by demagogues. That’s why we have to be clear that our populism is directed against the liberal idenity politics that reduces human persons to merely members of a race, class or gender and against fashionable theories that deny the realities of moral agency and personal responsibility. It’s also okay with me if conservative populism is directed against the complacent bourgeois bohemianism that dominates WALL STREET, the MSM, and the IVORY TOWERS, against people who think they are and deserve to be exempted from the demanding responsibilities we’ve all been given to live REAL LIVES as dutiful and loving parents, children, citizens, creatures, friends, neighbors, and, let’s not forget, beings born to die. It’s also okay with me, as Matt says, if conservative populism is based on the REAL anxieties of ordinary people in a time when they’re stuck with being more on their own than ever--anxieties that are economic but are also much more than economic, as long as those anxieties aren’t addressed through some denial of their responsibility to live with what they really know.

Discussions - 12 Comments

The question is always what kind — a matter all the more vexing for conservatives given their general refusal to engage in economic pandering, their strained relationship with organized labor, and their typically close ties to the business class.

Given the intense hostility of "the business class" to the conservative agenda, I think it's long overdue for those ties to be dissolved.

Unsurprisingly, 20th-century populisms on the Right have been closely related to, if not synonymous with, xenophobia, racism, and the politicization of particular religious traditions.

I have not seen that moron Moser around in a while. This crap is right down his alley.

It's always amusing to see Jews decrying "xenophobia, racism, and the politicization of particular religious traditions".

The very basic meaning of the Latin conservare is "to preserve." What is wrong with a person wanting to preserve those of his own race? It's a natural instinct. Race, after all, is only extended family. I'm not saying we should hate people of other races. That's wrong. But why shouldn't one want to support the interests of his own race?

Universalism is left-wing concept, long attacked by conservatives like De Maistre.

The NAACP and La Raza (both racialist organizations) are extremely successful. European Americans (i.e. whites) too should also promote their own interests.


As Aristocratically Minded Paleoconservative writes, race is only extended family. As Steve Sailer wrote: "Cavalli-Sforza's team compiled extraordinary tables depicting the "genetic distances" separating 2,000 different racial groups from each other. For example, assume the genetic distance between the English and the Danes is equal to 1.0. Then, Cavalli-Sforza has found, the separation between the English and the Italians would be about 2.5 times as large as the English-Danish difference. On this scale, the Iranians would be 9 times more distant genetically from the English than the Danish, and the Japanese 59 times greater. Finally, the gap between the English and the Bantus (the main group of sub-Saharan blacks) is 109 times as large as the distance between the English and the Danish."

John (#1 and #2) if you insist on being a rude, barabrian, asshole at least use you full name.

With the exception of the last one, these comments are mean and nuts--extreme versions of the identity politics of resentment.

Peter Lawler: My, haven't we become the little politically correct neocon? Regarding the comments above by Paleoconservative and John, the NATIONAL REVIEW was full of articles expressing this sentiment in the 1950s and 1960s --- before the political correct neocons took it over. Provided one is not violent, there is nothing wrong at all with preferring one's own race. It is natural.

I say some pretty outrageous things, I almost always regret some of the things I say but I always put my last name to them. Since I think I know where Dr. John Moser stands in general I would say that we are about ones, kind of like the Danes and the English. I am no expert sociologist, and frankly sociology is probably at least as complicated as economics...but I do think that Levitt in Freakonomics might have been on to something by saying that one could tell something about people by a study of first this logic I think all people with the first name of John should stick together. So John, John Coleman, John Mosier, John Lewis and John McCain should stick together.

While this is somewhat of a joke to me, I can see the outlines of a new theory that might be capable of getting a 10 minute spot on CNN. I mean Barrack is a cool and new sounding name. Is it possible that some people will vote for McCain simply because of his first name. I mean John is a pretty damn old school biblical american name, it doesn't get the press that a cool sounding Wolf-Blitzer type name gets, Ergo potential resentment. It really isn't hip or flashy...

Look, put me on CNN I will make up some fluff to fill 10 minutes of the 24 hour spot.

Snake oil-salesman? forget about it, I am an immitation snake oil-salesman, 9 out of 10 CNN viewers can't tell the difference, you toss the made in Louisiana label on it and it can double as hot sauce.

and you are nuts

Some terms have been getting tossed around here of late, ------------- that don't belong here.

And there's no need for it.

Dispute shouldn't yield to an insulting disputateousness. And that's what we've been seeing of late.

Is that John Colman of Western Political Thought III fame? What are you doing these days?

readers of this thread should check out what pete has to say on the one above on deneen etc.

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