Reading Up on The Right
Posted in Conservatism by Steven Hayward
My long review essay about conservatism in the latest Claremont Review of Books
is now available online
Jonah Goldberg adds his perspective here
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I would suggest that Lefties want conservatives to be like the Washington Generals, the team that ritually loses to the Harlem Globetrotters every day. The job of conservatives is to make liberals think they have to fight for each step toward socalism, but not actually win any fights.
Richard: Another great analogy that hadn't occurred to me. Where do I send the royalties when I use this? And how'd you get to be so smart?
A fine read, Mr. Hayward. One of these days I do need to get around to W. Kendall. Excellent Chesterton quotes in there as well, and your assesment of Burnham and Chambers feels right to me.
One quibble: part of your final flourish says, "The revival of conservatism, drawing upon the richness of American exceptionalism, probably explains most of the political variance between the United States and Europe in the postwar era—explains, in particular, why America has refused to make peace with the modern welfare state, why we remain a military superpower, and why Americans remain a religious people." Agreed with the explanation for the first two of the three exceptions there, but as to the third "why Americans remain a religious people," I'd chalk that up almost entirely to the religious dimension of American exceptionalism, which goes much further back than the conservative mvmt., and has to do with a parcel of early America factors. (And maybe...Providence.) That is, Americans didn't need the arrival of Buckley and co., who came on the scene decrying the absence of God at Yale among other things, to remain a religious people. Right?