The term “white socialism” describes a lot of the activity on the far “right” but no term describes all these people because they are quite individualistic and no two are ever really alike. Circus freaks are all different, or they wouldn’t be circus freaks would they?
I’m sorry, I just insulted circus freaks. I don’t think too many circus freaks think Abraham Lincoln was the Worst Person in the World. Let me throw out a few useful generalizations though.
The biggest group is what are called “paleoconservatives” to contrast them with “neoconservatives.” The term neoconservative is a very popular perjorative with both the left and the far “right” and thus doesn’t mean too much more than “I don’t like you.” Until recently it was used to describe a few Jewish communist intellectuals who in the 70’s became disillusioned with communism and switched sides. If you use it to describe anyone who was once a liberal but became disillusioned then Ronald Reagan was a neocon. I would congratulate myself for having worked Ronald Reagan into the argument but these kind of people regard him as a liberal squish so I don’t score any points.
There is an old American conservatism that was based on “small town values”, isolationism, and protectionism. This was long dead 50 years ago and I don’t think today’s paleos can really trace their intellectual thread back to that, but they think they can which is some clue to their mentality.
I will digress with a story. My family lived when I was a child in a town in the California desert, where my father worked at the Air Force Rocket Propulsion Lab as a chemist. (Frank Zappa’s father also worked there as chemist, but about ten years earlier.) He had a friend, also a chemist and the story goes the friend’s wife went into the back of a florist shop and found a John Birch Society enemies list, which they were on.
Now, my father is a New Deal liberal, and I’m guessing his friend was also, but they were doing much more to fight communism, through the work of designing rockets with which to nuke the Russkies til they glowed, than a paranoid small-town florist was. And as a matter of fact, the John Birch Society was quite skeptical about the Vietnam War, because it wasn’t being pursued aggressively enough, or maybe they thought there was a bit too much liberal nation-building going on.
So if a National Reorganization was to occur, I would feel obliged to shoot all the JBS members. Because if you’re against the Vietnam War, you’re soft on communism. And we can’t tolerate that.
There is another faction referred to as the paleolibertarians, who seem to congregate on the Lew Rockwell website. I haven’t read it and I’m not going to, as from secondary and tertiary sources it seems to be quite repellent. Apparently they regard the war as a big scam, probably Jewish, and want a gold standard (until we actually have one, then they won’t, see More On White Socialists.)
Another faction- and these people overlap quite a bit- are Southern partisans. Believers in the Lost Cause, southern independence, etc. These people really hate Lincoln. I think both Lincoln and Grant were slandered extensively by pro-southern revisionists in the late 1800’s but Lincoln had countervailing power. Grant unfortunately was left to the mercies of Democratic politics, which even in progressive Northern circles were hideously racist. I won’t speak for his presidency but Grant was a military giant, and whereever they are Erwin Rommel bows down before him. But having your character assassinated by liberal Democrats is an everyday thing and Grant has plenty of good company.
Another category is the racists. Now, I’m a racist. I believe the white race and it’s works are superior by some margin to all others. I believe blacks, and to a lesser extent Hispanics, are more violent and less intelligent than whites. I believe that while Asians are a little more intelligent they have not shown any particular accomplishments, particularly outside of participating in white culture, to be regarded as superior or even equal.
This is all on the bell curve of course. And on the bell curve most people are average. Our society is obsessed with people on the extremes, high and low. This doesn’t need to ruin anybody’s life. Judge people on objective criteria and they will occupy the space they belong in, be it a prison cell or a scientific fellowship. All affirmative action does is put a few more minorities in sexy jobs at the top- not unsexy jobs at the top like scientists. In liberal jurisdictions blacks get more lenient treatment at the bottom, in the criminal justice system, but it only means they hurt a few more people before going to jail for a long time.
For the racists though this isn’t quite enough. To call for objective treatment to them is kind of a copout, and if you don’t advocate treatment by race, you’re a liberal squish.
So what, as Jerry Seinfeld would say, is the deal with that? First, as we see with white socialists, the assorted riff raff of the far “right” agrees much of the time with left socialists, in which case they are used to point out that “not all conservatives believe X, in fact real conservatives agree with us.” A “real” or “authentic” conservative is one who agrees with a liberal.
On the other hand, when these people believe something regarded as odious, liberals can say, “see, some conservatives believe X, which just shows you what bad people conservatives are.” The same person (often Patrick Buchanan, sometimes William F. Buckley or Barry Goldwater) can be used both as an example of authentic, hairy-chested, plain folks conservatism (as opposed to the evil neocon variety) or as an example of the terribly outdated and unenlightened nature of conservatives.
If you agree with liberals on some important issue, even if for different reasons, you’re probably not a conservative. If liberals like to use you as a positive or negative example, you’re probably not a conservative. If you’re used as both I don’t think even the circus can use you.