The Trumpening and Mainstream Conservatism- The Long View

The complete inability of mainstream conservatives to understand what has happened is maddening, and while I continue to maintain official politics is of little to no interest to nationalists, I feel I must explain.

I’m not a historian or a scholar, so I may be wrong in details, but I think I can explain- to people who are willing to listen- the broad historical arc of it.

Mainstream conservatism is an idea that dates approximately to the mid-1950’s. People often don’t appreciate how left-wing the US had been up to then. The US was formally allied with the Soviet Union, a Marxist-Leninist dictatorship, to win WWII, and had established a government starting the 1930’s that controlled almost all of society. Communists participated openly in the US government, and why wouldn’t they? Communism was progressive ideology doing great good in the world, and while communism as a whole was not useful in the US, communist ideas certainly were.

The aftermath of WWII in eastern Europe soured a lot of people though. The defeat of Hitler was supposed to mean elections, but the Red Army was having none of that. It was explained to the rubes that elections were not necessary, but they weren’t buying it, and many of the rubes had roots there and did not want to see their religion and culture destroyed in their homelands. (Religion and culture were of course being restored in the Jewish “homeland”).

How the US would respond to Russian imperialism was the question. The progressive left was all in favor of it. The militant right wanted war, but people were tired of that. The compromise was not to interfere with the Soviets but not to let them go further. Countries in the US sphere of influence would develop as social democracies.

It was assumed China would stay in the Western sphere, but Mao won. How and why this happened was a burning issue at the time. “Who lost China?” was a conservative battle cry. The answer was that communist sympathizers in the State Department helped this happen, and the presence of communists, former communists, and almost communists (called “pinkos” because they weren’t quite red) became an issue.

The House Un-American Activities Commission had been around for a long time, looking into undesirable foreign activities like organized crime by Jews and Italians, anarchism and associated forms of violent, terroristic leftism not directly controlled by the CPSU, and communism. Senator Joseph McCarthy began hearings into communist influence in the US government, the State Department but also the Army.

The left gained a massive media victory here, managing to equate inquiring into anyone’s left wing political background with cruel harrassment of idealistic, well-intentioned people. The Venona transcripts showed that McCarthy was unsurprisingly, correct- probably every single person he accused of anything was guilty as hell of that and a lot more.

But the left had portrayed anti-communism as the worst possible thing in English-speaking society, a matter of bad taste, and with this no respectable person could announce conservative political views in public.

Manhattan socialite William F. Buckley decided a new conservatism was needed, a socially acceptable if not fashionable one. Aiding him was the fact a lot of people found communism pretty disgusting. As cosmopolitan as many communists were, it was basically Slavic peasants lining up for bread rations, and while that might be fine for Slavic peasants, no nice person wanted anything like that. Militant, Promethean libertarianism best promoted by Ayn Rand was in backlash against the tiresome alphabet soup of government control. Actual conservatism was still pretty hick, but you could break off anti-communist liberals, and call them conservatives.

That’s all modern conservatives are. Anti-communist liberals. The old American form of conservatism- isolationist, traditionalist, rural and small town whether North or South- never really went away, but it kept its mouth shut and went with the anti-communist liberals to have some support.

This project had some big successes, and some failures. Its resistance to the Soviet Union ended communism in its classic form. At home it kept taxes under control. It did not repeal the New Deal. It did not prevent or significantly restrain the Great Society. It established a strong criminal regime, after the US had gone from a not very strong one based on Protestant reform to a totally Gramscian one.

In the end it was a victim of its own success, or more exactly that liberals saw money was good, and adopted the aspects of it that suited them. In the old days the private sector was not that lucrative, and being a corporate executive wasn’t that much better than being a government employee. With the globalization and financialization of the world economy, that changed, and with Clinton liberals went strong into business and finance.

With the defeat of communism, the victory of globalism and free-market capitalism and its adoption by progressives, modern conservatism had little reason to exist. It had won what it could, and could win nothing else. But conservatives in the 1990’s, like liberals in the 1950’s, thought they were just getting started with their economic program. (Social issues are another matter.) They wanted to reduce government spending and the size of government. But Clinton and the establishment prevented this.

The other source of the weakening and collapse came from within. The old school, liberal Republicans of the Bush family were enraged at the takeover of “their” party by Western libertarians. HW promoted a “kinder, gentler nation”. W promoted “compassionate conservatism”. The rubes were told they had gone too far and needed to back off, and the rubes mostly obeyed.

If everybody is a free-market globalist, a free market globalist party is not needed. If everyone is, or is supposed to be, “socially liberal” then a socially conservative party is a threat to society. The is no need for the Republican Party to exist, and it is in fact a threat to the social order. This is the dilemma the Republican establishment finds itself in, but it does not understand history and could not adapt if it could.

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About thrasymachus33308

I like fast cars, fast women and southern-fried rock. I have an ongoing beef with George Orwell. I take my name from a character in Plato's "Republic" who was exasperated with the kind of turgid BS that passed for deep thought and political discourse in that time and place, just as I am today. The character, whose name means "fierce fighter" was based on a real person but nobody knows for sure what his actual political beliefs were. I take my pseudonym from a character in an Adam Sandler song who was a obnoxious jerk who pissed off everybody.
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6 Responses to The Trumpening and Mainstream Conservatism- The Long View

  1. Pingback: The Trumpening and Mainstream Conservatism- The Long View | Neoreactive

  2. Ryu says:

    Wow. You know all that from memory, Thrashy? You are a scholar.

    What about China? Why is this “Communist” country now richer than the mighty USA? It is funny that the evil commies now have more economic freedom than the Murkan capitalists.

    • I don’t know much about China. The Chinese are practical people, and they realized communism was hurting them earlier than the Russians, and took practical steps to improve their situation. The Communists run China still because the people more or less trust them.

      Communism in China was I think more nationalist than it was in Russia. China didn’t have Jews and other foreigners running the Communist party, and the Communists didn’t have the taint of being associated with Westerners like Chiang Kai Shek did. The Chinese primarily hate the idea of being controlled by foreigners, with good reason, see the Opium War. The British actually attacked China so an Iraqi Jew, David Sassoon, could sell dope there.

  3. James Forrestal says:

    Good review, but misses the Trotskyite/ Stalinist split that was a major aspect of the Cold War. It’s overly simplistic to think of it as Communists vs. anti-Communists (which was true at the level of average Americans) rather than a split within Communism between “socialism in one country” and Trotskyite/ later Cultural Marxist/ neo-con types (which was true for many of the deep state people).

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