Posts Tagged ‘nationalism’

Deneen Critiques Libertarians

Thursday, June 18th, 2020

Patrick Deneen begins, “Washington Post columnist George Will has added his voice to that of Brad Thompson in decrying the rise of an un-American conservative authoritarianism, represented, among others, by such thinkers as Adrian Vermeule, Sohrab Ahmari, and yours truly.” It’s no secret that I side with Will and Thompson.

Deneen argues that common-good Christianity, perhaps even more than Lockeanism, drove early American ideas.

Deneen then lets loose on his libertarian(ish) opponents: “Libertarianism has never been present in any actual operable political form during America’s history.  Indeed, as a school of thought, a pure form of philosophical libertarianism was not a significant presence in American history until its articulation as Social Darwinism in the early 20th century–including its attraction to eugenics–and did not appear as an economic school of thought until the mid-twentieth century under the influence of several foreign thinkers, F. A. Hayek and von Mises (and later, Ayn Rand).” Well, Ayn Rand, who bristled at the comparison of her ideas to libertarianism, was a U.S. citizen, as was Mises. And anyway who cares whether ideas are “foreign”? Regarding Deneen’s take on libertarianism, David Boaz asks, “Have you ever seen anybody pour more error and libel into one sentence?”

Thompson on America and the Right

Friday, June 5th, 2020

C. Bradley Thompson, author of America’s Revolutionary Mind, wrote a scathing critique of the American nationalist right. Various writers responded for and against. Thompson writes, “The reactionary Right does not form a coherent intellectual movement, nor does it share a positive political agenda except for its political authoritarianism. It is united largely by what it is against, i.e., cultural leftism with its promotion of same-sex marriage, transgenderism, feminism, multiculturalism, the sexualization of children, etc.—all of which it blames on the classical liberalism of the American Founding! In what follows, I shall briefly outline the anti-American ideas of five representative ideologues of the reactionary Right: Patrick Deneen, Sohrab Ahmari, Mencius Moldbug (i.e., Curtis Yarvin), Bronze Age Pervert, and Dan DeCarlo.” Later he continues, “Like antebellum Southern slaveholders and post-bellum Progressives, today’s radical Left and Right share a common disgust for the principles of the American Founding.”