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Category: Conservatives

Black Lives MAGA: Republicans are the real SJWs

The Democrats: The Racist Enemy! A crime scene; the aesthetics of a horror movie; sinister music.  This is the latest Trump attack ad exposing Joe Biden’s “racism problem”, released a…

The Democrats: The Racist Enemy!

A crime scene; the aesthetics of a horror movie; sinister music.  This is the latest Trump attack ad exposing Joe Biden’s “racism problem”, released a day after the rioting began in Chicago.  The Trump campaign is engaging in offensive archaeology, digging up a Biden statement from all the way back in 1973.  Other Trumps ads criticized Biden’s opposition to busing and his support for a 1994 Crime Bill that mass incarcerated African-American men.  The Trump camp called out Biden’s association with Robert Byrd, who had been a member of the KKK — in 1946.  It was desperate stuff, fully reinforcing the notion that racism isn’t just bad, but the worst evil imaginable — and should be used as a main determinant as to whether or not to elect someone to the most powerful position in the world.  America has shut down over a pandemic and is in the midst of a recession, but racism still overwhelms all other issues.  Several American cities resembled warzones in the aftermath of the George Floyd-inspired rioting and looting but rather than comment on this fact, the official GOP Twitter account was labeling Biden “the architect of mass incarceration” — because being tough on crime is racist.

The Republican campaign strategy has, for some time, been to claim that “Democrats are the real racists”.  Republicans paint themselves as the genuine defenders of Black people whereas Democrats keep Blacks on “the plantation”.  Dinesh D’Souza is the master of this style, producing overblown propaganda that intercuts footage of the KKK with Hillary Clinton. Conservatism has been, in the words of Gregory Hood, “reduced to claiming it is actually the true version of American liberalism, and even to claiming past Leftist triumphs as its own.”  The Republicans are mirroring and amplifying the PC hysteria of the left and playing their part in turning America into a nation of hyperventilating racism hunters.  They co-opted wholesale the liberal tenets of anti-racism, reframing their own causes as racial justice issues: Damning abortion as responsible for “Black genocide”, to take one moronic example.  Every time they call a Democrat racist, they are pushing the whole debate leftward, positioning racial justice as the primary arbiter of legitimate governance.  D’Souza’s overblown propaganda doesn’t stop at calling the Democrats racist; the blurb of his book The Big Lie: Exposing the Nazi Roots of the American Left reads, “In a sick inversion, the real fascists in American politics masquerade as anti-fascists and accuse the real anti-fascists of being fascists.”  Everybody accuses everybody else of being a fascist, all the time.  To borrow the absurdist hyperbole of D’Souza, if the Democrats are the real racists (they’re not, and even if they were – who cares), the Republicans are the real Social Justice Warriors and Trump is the shrieking, corpulent, blue-haired Antifa-in-Chief.  It’s from this febrile milieu of bipartisan hypersensitivity to racial issues that movements like Black Lives Matter and Antifa emerged.

Republicans respond to Black Lives Matter

BLM are successfully undermining the legitimacy of American institutions and demonizing the country’s history.  The BLM website claims that African-Americans are “systematically and intentionally targeted for demise” while the umbrella group, Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), argues that the United States is waging “war on black people” and subjecting them to “constant exploitation and perpetual oppression.”  It is extreme rhetoric that requires a full-throated response of unapologetic moral clarity, but has instead been met by stupefaction.  Responses have ranged from cowed silence and acquiescence to total capitulation.  Mitt Romney and Senator Mike Braun outright supported the movement.  In a cringe worthy video posted to Twitter, Marco Rubio presented the anger of the rioters as a fully rational response to the racism of white America: “Their lives are held with less value because the color of their skin.  This is an ongoing problem that has haunted us for much too long and it must be addressed.  The anger you saw spillover in these protests across the country: that’s where it comes from”.  In a speech on the Senate floor, Rubio called for “a full reckoning with racial inequities that still plague our nation” in order for us to become “more fully American”.

George W. Bush released a craven and mawkish statement, repeating the conspiracy theory of “systemic racism”.  His statement spoke of an “injustice and fear that suffocate our country”; it was “not the time for us to lecture” but rather “time for us to listen”.  The protestors, he told us, “march for a better future”, and that the “tragedy” of George Floyd’s drug overdose “raises a long-overdue question: How do we end systemic racism in our society?”  In an inversion of the truth, the most violent element of society is presented as the victim: “It remains a shocking failure that many African-Americans, especially young African-American men, are harassed and threatened in their own country.”  This was unsurprising from a President who has spent his retirement painting amateur portraits of immigrants with a hope to “focus our collective attention on the positive impacts that immigrants are making on our country.”

Republicans have been keen to blame the looting and rioting on Antifa rather than Black Lives Matter.  Ted Cruz pointed to “skinny white trust-fund ANTIFA kids” who he alleged were “burning Black-owned small businesses and murdering Black police officers”.  It is true that most of the violent activists in Portland were White, but they were targeting a Federal court building — not Black businesses.  In every other city, however, such claims are bald-faced lies whose sole purpose is to get Black people off the hook while smearing Whites.  If Republicans criticize BLM at all, it’s for their alleged Marxism — never for their anti-White animosity.

Criticism of BLM itself is framed exclusively in terms of Black interests.  The looting and rioting “damage Black-owned businesses” and “hurt Black communities”, we’re told — even though much of the rioting targeted wealthy non-Black precincts.  Lindsey Graham himself complained that the organization “hurts minority families”.  In an interview with OANN news, Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler bravely spoke out against BLM — for anti-Semitism.  Republicans will get animated and passionate when it comes to condemning anti-Semitism but are nowhere to be found once confronted with the image of anti-White hysteria.

Are BLM Marxist?

In a 2015 interview, Patrisse Cullors did, in fact, describe herself and fellow BLM co-founder Alicia Garza as “trained Marxists” but let’s not pretend they care about impoverished white members of the proletariat.  For all the communist LARPing, their animating principle is one of racial hatred. Black youths do not sit at home reading The Communist Manifesto and The Eighteenth Brumaire — dusty books by a long-dead White guy.  To the extent that ideas, rather than raw sectarian hatred, have influenced the protests, we can look to the literature of the 1619 Project, Ibram Kendi, Michelle Alexander, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Robin DiAngelo — they’re race-baiters, not Marxists. BLM has received funding from George Soros (a committed anti-communist) and some of the largest corporations in America.  What they seek isn’t the overthrow of capitalism, but the establishment of racial castes within the capitalist system, together with the expansion of the rent-seeking sinecures of the already gargantuan diversity bureaucracy.  Soi-disant Marxists might like the edgy vibe of that ideology but couldn’t care less about who has control over the means of production — so long as they get some free stuff.  I’ve not heard a single protester even mention the working class.  What I have heard is “slavery” and “Jim Crow” and “systemic racism” and “White supremacy” shouted through a megaphone ad infinitum.  However loud they holler, mainstream conservatives will force it into the mold of communism.  That is, after all, a threat it is safe to stand up to.  However perturbed they may be feeling, White Americans recognize that defending Whiteness is the ultimate taboo.  Throughout these last few months, Rudy Giuliani has served as the lone voice staying the obvious, yet unsayable: “These are people who hate White people.”

Black Lives Matter owe more to the Republican Party than to Karl Marx

Christopher Caldwell argues that Civil Rights legislation is directly responsible for the malaise of political correctness: “Just as affirmative action in universities and corporations had privatized the enforcement of integration, the fear of litigation privatized the suppression of disagreement. The government would not need to punish directly the people who dissented from its doctrines. Boards of directors and boards of trustees, fearing lawsuits, would do that.”  Corporate HR departments have arguably played a larger role than “cultural Marxists” in helping to re-shape America into a nation of permanently incensed foaming at the mouth McCarthyite anti-racists.  And today the witch-hunter general who has poisoned public dialogue with the most militant anti-white sentiment is Robin DiAngelo, a grotesquely overpaid corporate diversity consultant.

Conservatives have assisted in the process of Civil Rights becoming America’s new civic religion. Kevin D. Williamson, writing in National Review – the leading publication of mainstream Conservatism – referred to the Republican Party as “the Party of Civil Rights”.  We can look back to that watershed moment in 1983, when Ronald Reagan signed the bill into law that made Martin Luther King the only American with his own national holiday.  This act was not trivial.  It didn’t just cement King as a national icon in the pantheon of American history; rather it helped to refocus the narrative of America.  No longer was it primarily the story of the founders but instead an ongoing story of racial justice in which White people are the eternal malefactors.  Republicans have come to mythologize and eulogize King every bit as much as the Democrats.  George W. Bush called him a “second founder” while Charles Krauthammer deemed him a “prophet”.  King became the protagonist of the new, deeply emotive morality play of American history and the defining icon of American political ideology — the lodestar of what it meant to be an American.  In 1998 Sam Francis wrote stridently about what the holiday represented, in terms that to most people would have, until recently, sounded paranoid and overblown, but have proven to be prescient:

“It is hardly an accident that in the years since the enactment of the holiday and the elevation of King as a national icon movements to ban the teaching of “Western civilization” came to fruition on major American universities, Thomas Jefferson was denounced as a “racist” and “slaveowner,” and George Washington’s name was removed from a public school in New Orleans on the grounds that he too owned slaves.  In the new nation and the new creed of which the King holiday serves as symbol, all institutions, values, heroes, and symbols that violate the dogma of equality are dethroned and must be eradicated.  Those associated with the South and the Confederacy are merely the most obvious violations of the egalitarian dogma and therefore must be the first to go, but they will by no means be the last…The logical meaning of the holiday is the ultimate destruction of the American Republic as it has been conceived and defined throughout our history.”

Having imbued the Civil Rights movement with a staggering moral grandeur, it is unsurprising that today’s extremists feel endowed with moral authority as they assault people and destroy property.  Commemorating the holiday in 1987, Reagan pioneered cancel culture urging Americans to “be totally intolerant to racism anywhere around you.”  Black Lives Matter and Antifa have taken that commandment to the nth degree.  While the mainstream Conservative media recently made a show of railing against cancel culture, they had themselves purged enyone with anything sensible to say about race long ago.  With their hyperfocus on a single line from a single speech (“they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”) the Republican establishment fundamentally misrepresents what Martin Luther King stood for.  King unequivocally supported affirmative action, writing that “A society that has done something special against the Negro for hundreds of years must now do something special for him” and arguing that Blacks deserve “special, compensatory measures”.  In his groundbreaking book, The Age of Entitlement, Christopher Caldwell writes:

“Republicans and others who may have been uneasy that the constitutional baby had been thrown out with the segregationist bathwater consoled themselves with a myth: The “good” civil rights movement that the martyred Martin Luther King, Jr., had pursued in the 1960s had, they said, been “hijacked” in the 1970s by a “radical” one of affirmative action, with its quotas and diktats…. None of that was true. Affirmative action and political correctness were the twin pillars of the second constitution. They were what civil rights was.”

Trump derangement syndrome

Looking at the Never Trumpers — the “principled Conservatives” trying to “save the soul of the movement” from anybody that articulated the interests of white people — it’s inaccurate to describe them as RINO’s.  They are the Republican Party, while Trump, a near singular aberration, is the outlier.  The Republican establishment had wanted Jeb Bush to win, a man who referred to illegal border crossing as “an act of love.”  Erick Erickson, the editor of RedState, called Trump a “fascist” and a “racist” while Lindsey Graham called him a “race-baiting, xenophobic religious bigot”.  For men such as these, the greatness of America can be found in its anti-racist activism.  Graham felt the true way to “Make America Great Again” was to tell the racist Donald Trump to “go to hell”.  In 2016 Graham believed “we’ve lost the moral authority to govern” the country if Trump gets elected.

Black Lives Matter agrees, seeing no legitimacy in the current administration or the institutions of the state.  Yet Donald Trump himself was a cuckservative all along.  During his presidency, Trump slammed Obama for doing a “bad job for minorities” and boasting “I did much more for minorities than he did”.  Following the death of “Civil Rights icon” Rep. John Lewis, President Trump ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in all public buildings, military posts, and embassies.  Anybody that doesn’t toe the line is maligned.  Bill Kristol, to take one example, smeared Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show as “close now to racism, White — I mean, I don’t know if it’s racism exactly — but ethnonationalism of some kind.”  Republicans have capitalized on White nostalgia and the problems of diversity (gun control, for example, is such a contentious issue due to fear of Black criminality) yet use their power to quash White ethnic sentiments.

The inevitable result of a maladaptive worldview

The egalitarian universalist ideology of America’s nominal conservatives was summed up by the influential political columnist George F. Will, who had once coached Ronald Reagan for a debate with Jimmy Carter.  Will believed that “it won’t do to say that a million English immigrants would be easier for Virginia to assimilate than a million Zulus“ because America is “a polyglot nation of immigrants” for whom unity is based solely on “a proposition”.  During a speech delivered in 2015, historian Mark Weber correctly predicted future disorder as an inevitable byproduct of this elite ideological consensus:

“In the months and years to come events will continue to unfold in keeping with the futile efforts to make reality conform to an impossible governing ideology…Just as the former Soviet Union eventually fell apart as an inevitable consequence of trying to organize society on the basis of an ideology and principles unrooted in historical social and biological reality, so also this society will and must continue to decline as it tries to force nature and reality to conform to wishful thinking based on an unsound worldview.”

The insurrection of 2020 isn’t a perversion of the memory of Martin Luther King brought about by undercover Marxists and critical race theorists (insidious as those people’s ideas are).  The uprising is the logical culmination of the Civil Rights movement itself.  It was always violent. Republicans think of themselves as the polar opposite of these student radicals yet they have themselves laid the ideological seedbed for the insurrection.  Republicans claimed to be the party of color-blind rugged individualists yet never rescinded affirmative action.  It’s convenient for conservatives to point the finger at the radical professors of critical race theory — it gets them off the hook.  They have no desire to question their Panglossian blank-slate egalitarian worldview. The current anarchy will be dismissed as just a blip on the road to “a more perfect union”.  Like an episode of Scooby Doo, peel back the mask and it was an old dead White guy all along: Every time a black hoodlum smashes a window or sets fire to a building they point and say “look what that Marxist just did” — as if this isn’t a race problem writ large but rather the fault of some nutty professors at the University of Marxist Leninism.  While critical race theory is worthy of critique, to see it as the root cause of the current chaos is wrong.  It implies our multiracial society would have worked out perfectly if only it wasn’t for those pesky Marxists ruining everything.  By this account, there is nothing intrinsically problematic about diversity.  In George Will’s worldview, were we to simply put a Milton Friedman book in the hands of Black college students everywhere, we’d be back on track toward a racial utopia.  Beltway Republicans use the long-expired specter of Karl Marx as the scapegoat for their own failed ideology of liberal multiculturalism. A million Zulus? Sure, just don’t let them read Das Kapital.

Donald Trump endorsing Mitt Romney’s Presidential candidacy in 2012.

Christopher Caldwell concludes that “While the Civil Rights Act succeeded in ending segregation, it did not fulfill the extravagant hopes and promises of Lyndon Johnson and others to end poverty, achieve equal outcomes, and so on.”  America’s black population still wants now what it wanted in 1964 — and that was never just equal rights and equality of opportunity.  In the wake of George Floyd’s death, Mitt Romney tweeted a photograph of his father, George Romney, participating in a Civil Rights march in the late 1960s.  Mitt was proud to be walking in his footsteps when he marched with Black Live Matter.  Mitt failed to recognize the total futility this represented.  George Romney was the Republican governor of Michigan during the 1967 Detroit riots that left 43 people dead and 2,000 buildings destroyed.  Over the course of more than fifty years, a plethora of costly social programs have spectacularly failed. Would Romney’s father have predicted that the upshot of all those programs would be race relations so bad that African-Americans will burn down major cities because a Black criminal died of a drug overdose?

The Republican Jacobins

Mitt Romney didn’t just march with Black Lives Matter – he also expressed support for Antifa. Responding to the violent clashes in Charlottesville in 2017, Romney asserted that Antifa and those he described as “racist, bigoted, Nazi” exist in “morally different universes”.  Violence is justifiable, so long as it is in service of the cause of anti-racism.  John McCain similarly contended there was “no moral equivalency” between nationalists and “Americans standing up to defy hate and bigotry”.  Charlottesville was a precursor to the violence we are currently suffering through and leading Republicans had painted the culprits as morally righteous.

Unable to interpret anything outside of a Republican/Democrat dichotomy the hyper-partisan Dinesh D’Souza called for an intensifying of the mass iconoclasm: “The only answer to them knocking down our statues (e.g., Columbus, Washington, Lincoln, and so on) is for us to knock down their statues.  I recommend three notorious racists: Woodrow Wilson, FDR, [and] LBJ.  If we don’t do to them what they are doing to us, they will never stop”.  The protestors didn’t care about political affiliation — they were pulling down every totem of Whiteness they could find. Inspired by BLM, Congressman Dan Crenshaw wanted to play his part in destroying America’s past: “Republicans won the civil war. That’s our history. Democrats have a long list of segregationists & KKK members.  That’s their history.  I’m glad to help them confront that racist past & voted to remove these Democrat statues.”  The founding fathers and the majority of American presidents throughout history were white supremacists. If they’re true to their own values, Republicans should want to detonate and flatten almost the entirety of Washington’s statuary.  Perhaps what needs to be toppled is not the effigies of men who presided over a functioning society, but the edifice of Martin Luther King, whose legacy rendered America a failed state on the precipice of civil war.


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Authoritarianism and anti-authoritarianism

Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from the author’s forthcoming book “American Extremist: The Psychology of Political Extremism”. Central to both the modern American identity, to the problems the United States…

Editor’s Note: This is an excerpt from the author’s forthcoming book “American Extremist: The Psychology of Political Extremism”.

Central to both the modern American identity, to the problems the United States faces, and highly relevant to our previous discussion of false collective fictions (https://radixjournal.com/2020/05/myth-mental-illness-and-political-extremism/), is the notion of democracy.  Democracy, which in practice operates a whole lot less like a mechanism for political efficiency and a lot more like a blunt object to be wielded against ones foes, is to a degree, predicated on stymieing the execution of political will by a central authority.  Deeper than a mere political problem, the philosophy of democratization in all spheres continues to challenge Americans on a psychological level.  This rejection of authority can be found at every level of contemporary American life to such a degree, that one wonders whether anti-authoritarianism is itself a key psychological feature of the American population.  I probably would not have given this idea very much consideration were it not for a broadcast on the NPI/RADIX YouTube channel that aired on April 8th of 2020.  In that conversation, Richard Spencer discussed the cynical (if not outright hysterical) response of many Americans toward the federal government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Forced business closures and a federally imposed lockdown drew considerable outrage, as many Americans looked upon Trump’s response as a massive abuse of government power.  While I was not unfamiliar with anti-authoritarianism conceptually, upon looking into the literature available on the matter, I was quite surprised at the volume of writings on the subject.  Further investigation drove me to pursue this line of questioning even deeper.  While his insight did give me pause, I believe I have arrived at a different conclusion than the one proposed on his program, as it seems evident to me that reducing the psychology of the governed to either simple authoritarianism (as was done by researchers such as Theodor Adorno in the mid-twentieth century) or simple anti-authoritarianism betrays the fact that Americans struggle to find an actionable equilibrium between the two positions.

Before we analyze the psychological divide between authoritarian and anti-authoritarianism in American consciousness, it would be prudent to consult the expert opinion on the matter.  Noted authors on the subject of anti-authoritarianism including Bruce Levine, Noam Chomsky, and William Kreml, generally agree on a definition of anti-authoritarianism which rejects both anarchic anti-authoritarianism as well as the kind of authoritarian submissiveness described by the likes of Theodore Adorno, Robert Altemeyer, and Erich Fromm.  In the view of the latter (and those who accept their hypothesis), authoritarianism – meaning, the individual who is prone to fascistic sentiment, and thus will submit to authority – is defined by characteristics such as:

  1. Submission to legitimate authority, 
  2. Aggression toward minority groups, 
  3. Adherence to cultural values endorsed by authorities, 
  4. Blind allegiance to convention,
  5. A tendency toward misanthropy, 
  6. A preoccupation with violence and sex, 
  7. Feelings of inferiority,
  8. Hostility toward creativity and artistic innovation.

While the psychological measurements devised to produce such findings (in particular the F-scale and the RWA scale) have been subject to much scrutiny, the conclusions drawn from these investigations have reached a degree of cultural saturation that no longer relies on the support of the academic community.  Contempt for politically authoritarian sentiment is now commonplace – not only among those well-situated members of the American economy, but all the way down the socioeconomic ladder as well.  To Richard’s point, it would seem the battle against authoritarianism has been won.  In the intervening decades, having exhausted opportunities for experimentally measuring right-wing authoritarianism (and still reluctant to examine left-wing authoritarianism) many researchers pivoted from understanding the psychology of the authoritarian to arriving at an accurate conceptual (and ethical) model of anti-authoritarianism.

For Levine and Chomsky in particular, anti-authoritarianism is not about a predisposition against authority, but rather, an antagonism toward illegitimate authority.  To this point, I will quote both.  Chomsky has said that, 

“When you stop your five-year-old kid from trying to cross the street, that’s an authoritarian situation: it’s got to be justified. Well, in that case, I think you can give a justification.”

Levine echoes this sentiment, 

“Anti-authoritarians question whether an authority is a legitimate one before taking that authority seriously. Evaluating the legitimacy of authorities includes assessing whether or not authorities actually know what they are talking about, are honest, and care about those people who are respecting their authority. And when anti-authoritarians assess an authority to be illegitimate, they challenge and resist that authority—sometimes aggressively and sometimes passive-aggressively, sometimes wisely and sometimes not.”

Levine and Chomsky both make rational arguments in support of a high-functioning and psychologically adaptive anti-authoritarianism.  Of importance is the fact that their stance directly opposes the chaotic anarchism which rejects all top-down and hierarchically organized models of authority (a position more commonly taken by communists, anti-fascists, and the anti-colonialism movement more broadly).

Less directly related (though perhaps still worth noting), are the findings of Cantoni, Yang, Yuchtman, and Zhang, who in a 2016 study set out to define the characteristics of the anti-authoritarian.  In a survey of over 1,500 university students in Hong Kong, the team found that anti-authoritarians are

“More risk-seeking, more altruistic, more reciprocal, and have a stronger preference for redistribution in a series of real-stakes dictator games.”

Furthermore, when examining the personality traits through an application of the five factor model, their investigation revealed that anti-authoritarians score higher on trait openness but lower on trait conscientiousness.  The same group scored higher on the Cognitive Reflection Test (based on the work of Shane Frederick and Daniel Kahneman, the CRT is a measurement of one’s ability to access “system 2” cognition), but also reported lower average GPA’s.  This was attributed to a pre-occupation with political movements engaged in anti-authoritarian action.  Cantoni et al also noted that,

Consistent with traditional, class-based models (e.g., Acemoglu and Robinson, 2006), students from poorer households and with lower anticipated future earnings are significantly more likely to be anti-authoritarian. Examining the demographic characteristics of students, one sees that older students are somewhat more anti-authoritarian than younger students, and that men are more anti-authoritarian than women. Interestingly, having a longer family history in Hong Kong is not strongly associated with anti-authoritarianism.”

It goes without saying that the historical, political, and biological differences that distinguish the United States from Hong Kong make any direction comparison or correlation in anti-authoritarian characteristics difficult, if not impossible, to do.  Nonetheless, it would behoove us to consider how these observations might lead to some insight as we continue our analysis in this work.  The common understanding of authoritarianism and anti-authoritarianism tends to place the former in the category of the political right, while the latter is typically conceived of as a left-wing phenomenon.  In the American context, this may seem at least partly accurate, as psychometric testing has indicated that openness to experience predicts left-wing attitudes while conscientiousness predicts right-wing attitudes (Webster, 2018).  These findings have been corroborated in Europe as well, in particular Spain, Greece, Poland, Italy, and Germany (Vecchione, Schoen, Castro, Cieciuch, Pavlopolous, & Caprara, 2011).  Economically favorable attitudes toward reciprocity and redistribution have long been features of American left-wing politics, and so perhaps the findings of Cantoni et al do provide us with some corroborative evidence to confirm certain widely accepted notions of authoritarian (rightist) and anti-authoritarian (leftist) attitudes.  

Having presented these arguments, I feel it necessary to let the air out of the theoretical balloon I have just provided.  If we take the arguments I laid out in the preceding section as true (that the left-right divide is an inaccurate and misleading political construct), then perhaps the authoritarian-antiauthoritarian divide, too, is fallacious and harmful to our understanding of contemporary politics.  For example: Under Obama, the American Right decried him as an authoritarian fascist (among other things, e.g., crypto-Islamist, Communist, et cetera).  As we have seen throughout the Trump administration, the American Left has levied similar condemnations.  What does this tell us?  Are Americans hopelessly confused?  Is every political actor a fascist or a fascist-in-democratic clothing?  I believe that we can confidently say ‘Yes’ to the former, but ‘no’ to the latter.

What we have is the reality of democracy in action – one side of the political machine running roughshod over the other, at least until the temporarily dispossessed one gets their turn to abuse the governed.  More significantly, the democratic process obscures the true nature of authority, facilitating the interminable confusion in the minds of Americans as to what constitutes authority, and when precisely (if ever) it becomes ‘fascistic’.  Auctoriphobia, or the fear of authority, clearly emerges out of this confusion.  Not only does it emerge out of this confusion, but it also emerges as a result of the tragic and violent history of the preceding century; wars that claimed the lives of tens of millions, technological developments that stoked fears of ecological collapse, and the erosion of national infrastructure, to offer a view examples, have provided sufficient justification for anti-authoritarian sentiment.  We are now confronted with two important questions as relates to authoritarian and anti-authoritarian positions: What constitutes legitimate authority? (a question of perception), and how ought one conduct themselves in relation to authority? (a question of agency and ethics).  To orient ourselves in a healthful and psychologically adaptive way – that is to say, with clear-headedness and a maximum of free will – we must be able to understand this problem in a new way.

As I stated at the outset, the fundamental tension in the American political mind is of that between the authoritarian impulse and the anti-authoritarian impulse.  So should it be, as the question of authority is the most important question in virtually any human endeavor.  Authority, which for all intent and purpose might as well be another way of saying agency, is a matter of ‘right’ thought and ‘right’ action implemented in the ‘right’ circumstance.  It stands to reason, then, that authority is often about having the ‘right’ person in charge.  Without oversimplifying this problem inappropriately, we might say that he who possesses the will to act makes himself the authority.  Of course, authority can be secured through other means; hereditarily, meritocratically, anti-socially, to name a few.  Already, we begin to see the perceptual problem of authority, as not all people view each method as a legitimate path to the throne.  And even when a political actor rises to a position of authority through a conventional and generally accepted means, subjective perception may still deign to invalidate him.

In the home, in the classroom, at the market, and at the ballot box, Americans have proven to struggle mightily with the question of authority.  Parents fail to exercise their rightful authority over their children; teachers do not discipline their students; hedge fund managers, investment firms, and executive boards routinely engage in unethical and illegal conduct but frequently go unpunished (often, in fact, they are rewarded); and to the degree that Americans engage in the political process (which is far less than they ‘ought’ to), we find that they support the same policies and the same actors time and time again.  This is not to put the blame squarely on individual shoulders, as in each instance we find top-down initiatives which undermine the responsible demonstration of power.  Nonetheless, the point remains.  We can therefore say, and with a great deal of recent historical proof attesting to this fact, that Americans are deep in the throes of a crisis of legitimacy.  With neither the information necessary to make a proper evaluation of authority, nor even the capacity to adjudicate existent (or potential) information, we have been cast adrift in a sea of hopelessness and despair.  What we do have, however, is fear, anxiety, and resentment – and lots of it.  Supposedly unified by our shared American values, our freedoms, and our love of democracy (though not in actuality), the line between friend and enemy grows murkier with each passing year.  Though it should be said, there are things which unite us, just not in any productive or eusocial way.  We are united by the increased feeling of unease and uncertainty we experience; not just toward our present sociopolitical circumstance, but toward our very lives.  Here we see the problem of relation to authority, as our seemingly foundational antagonism toward the will to act renders us impotent in virtually every arena of American society.  Everywhere Americans look, they see failures of authority (often enabled by the very same authorities), thus producing a conceptual collapse whereby failures of authority anywhere become failures of authority everywhere. 

It has been said of scientific experimentation, though I know not by who, that “Everyone is a conservative in the area they are most knowledgeable.”  This was meant to express the deep hesitation specialists in a given field of study have toward making grand extrapolations.  Their expansive knowledge affords that rare gift of foresight; one can only stretch a set of data so far before it reaches its natural limit.  Co-opting this statement and applying it to the realm of the political, I would add the following “…and an authoritarian in the area they are the least knowledgeable and most fearful.”  Take the issue of gun control, for example.  Well-practiced and disciplined acolytes of the pistol or the rifle generally seek to retain control of their ability to act on this privilege and to preserve the culture of liberty around firearms, while those with less experience often seek swift and decisive action to limit it.  It follows that ambiguity and uncertainty may be the centrally driving forces behind the desire for authoritarianism.  But authoritarianism is not simply an expression of powerlessness or fearfulness; it is a recognition of the need for a central force which can act judiciously, particularly (though not exclusively) in those circumstances where there is insufficient information, and thus requires cool and measured action.  Perhaps we could say that the ambiguities (which inevitably crop up around important social issues like barnacles on the side of an ocean tanker) demand a capable authority, one who will not engage in endless and doubt-filled discussion, thus problematizing necessary action and prolonging suffering.  The correct attitude towards authority is one that recognizes it as both an inevitable and necessary feature of social organization.  Authority and authoritarianism are too often used as synonyms for oppression and violence, and are therefore used to indicate the badness of a person, party, or ideology.  Rarely do we think of it as the solution to our problems.  Once more, we suffer a problem of perception.  

Let us think a little bit more about this dichotomy between conservatism and authoritarianism.  Conservatism to a great degree is an instinct toward retention, often an impotent and stationary impulse, and as Freud noted in Beyond the Pleasure Principle, possibly even an instinct toward self-annihilation, or a reaching back to a state of non-existence.  Certainly its inability to confront the problems of change and expansion indicate a death of one kind or another (something that modern conservatives are increasingly aware of).  Authoritarianism thus is progressive; it is a willful and vital stance which seeks assertion, dominance, security – yes – but more importantly a securing of desire, of some thing, be it an object or a goal.  It is not merely a means for securing one’s own welfare or the welfare of the group, rather authority is the psychosocial means by which we may express our will.  The juxtaposition of these two instincts (1) the instinct to conserve, or preserve in stasis and (2) the instinct to progress and secure desire remain a psychological and political problem that has not yet found resolution within the American mind.  Necessarily this tension produces cognitive dissonance whereby the pursuit of something as novel as “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is met with an equal force of “No, not too much of any of these, please.”  A society such as ours, built on ideas like breaking from tradition, limitless expansion, and geographic conquest is itself an expression of the paradox of authority and non-authority.  Even a cursory reading of the disagreements between America’s neophyte aristocratic order reveals this fact.  A commonly understood insight of psychology is that the stand-off between two opposing impulses creates a mental fissure by which action is rendered impossible and will is denied.  Such is the circumstance with which we are presently confronted.

For now, let’s turn away from the abstract and look at the problem of anti-authoritarianism and how it is expressed differently by our two subjects, the conservative and the progressive.  A fundamental and mutual misunderstanding made by conservative and republican types as well as progressive and democrat type (who both draw their historical and philosophical worldviews from the same liberal foundation) is that – from both perspectives – the other appears as a totalitarian despot, who, being unreasonable, dishonest, and stupid, seeks the domination and eradication of the other.  Both fail to recognize, particularly as their anxieties are intensified by interested parties in the politico-media complex, that they are both the sons of the same father.  Both see undue privileges bestowed upon the other, and each seeing themselves as solely and uniquely suffering the oppressive tyranny of their oedipal persecution.  It is a sibling rivalry par excellence. 

The conservative liberal is the yin to the progressive liberal yang, not being fundamentally distinct from one another in any meaningful sense, merely separated at birth.  For the progressive, the exercise of authority (for example, in the classroom or in the bedroom), stifles and necessarily suspends the realization of identity and the pursuit of happiness.  And for the conservative, an interventionist authority (perhaps at the gun show or in the marketplace), suspends autonomy, and self-reliance, themselves necessary for the pursuit of happiness.  Both seek permissiveness in those areas where their identities find realization and their values find expression.  Government, or the father, is never seen as a wise king, instead, he is always and forever the mad tyrant.  Where the conservative and the progressive lock hands, however, is in the righteous use of authority against external opponents – the Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians.  Authority expressed within the domestic boundaries is an insufferable oppression, but when directed outwardly, it is felt as a gleeful nigh-orgasmic expression of a will to life.  “Yes he may be a tyrant, but he’s our tyrant.”

Building on the ideas set forth earlier in this chapter with regard to the mythic formation of the mind, the conservative has a peculiar antagonism toward authoritarianism predicated on his own mythologized self-concept.  The conservative, ever the rugged individualist, is therefore fiercely opposed to collectivism.  Being that the conservative is fundamentally liberal in his self-concept and his relation to the world, authoritarianism represents the final result of collectivism, to which he as a liberal is fundamentally opposed.  His opposition is rooted in the fear of self-destruction, of becoming absorbed into the horde, the mass, if collectivist authoritarianism were to emerge.  The right-liberal (or conservative), who most clearly has inherited the frontier myth of the American man, is unwilling to sublimate his internal drives to an order which would threaten his petty frontier psychology.  ‘Petty frontier psychology’ in this case would be understood as having the meaning of a smaller, more individualist and self-serving ambition.  Originally, the frontier was a place of limitless expansion – a physical terrain fraught with uncertainty and great danger.  It was a real place where the true test of man’s conquering spirit could be found.  But that place no longer exists.  Still, the myth lives on.  The ideology of the conservative frontiersman, not cleanly extinguished, has been abstracted from the physical terrain and transposed into the space of concepts and intangibilities (the free market, the stock trade, et cetera).  The market is the new conservative frontier where much can be gained and much can be lost, but at a comparatively less costly expense.  No longer will the conservative lose his wife, his children, or even his own life, but rather he may lose his accumulated wealth and – should the danger prove sufficiently great – other material (his home, private property) and social (status, respectability, prestige) goods.  Though the right-liberal may tell us that collectivism and authoritarianism are morally wrong not because of an a priori philosophical justification, if we scratch the surface we find that the true cause may be found in the threat posed to his tenuous self-concept and his grandiose social ambition.  And, of course, because we cannot truly assume that the American Girondin is in fact a monolith who may be reduced to a singular motivation, we may assume other factors exist which could explain his anti-authoritarianism.  Perhaps, he shares the historical anxieties associated with authoritarianism which are more clearly typified by his Jacobin brother (as we shall see in the following paragraph).  

The progressive on the other hand – sensitive primarily to concerns regarding social welfare and guided by his self-imposed moral responsibility to those with fewer protections – regards authoritarianism as a danger for its supposed historical implications (persecution and genocide).  Authoritarianism being something that only an evil person participates in, the progressive looks to history and sees those great villains, Italy and Germany specifically, as proof of this belief.  For the progressive, authoritarianism is not a true ideology or political system, but rather a collective hysteria predicated on the irrational scapegoating of a benevolent minority.  His moral axiom (protect the little guy) thus indicates to him that authoritarianism is wrong because it is rooted in the unjust persecution of endangered minorities.  In the case of Germany, those minorities were homosexuals, gypsies, Jews, the mentally and physically infirm, while in modern America, what constitutes an endangered minority is far more expansive (women, Muslims, immigrants, Blacks, Hispanics,  et cetera).  The historical factors at play (and the veracity of said historical claims) are of little consequence, what matters, is that someone is being persecuted.  By the progressives own logic, for centralization to occur and a politic of authoritarianism to settle in, there must be a scapegoated minority, and they must be extinguished for the good of the collective.  Authoritarianism is the means by which the mad tyrant, empowered by his brainwashed thralls, exercises his deranged will.  

So while the conservative fears erasure of the self, the progressive fears erasure of the other, who owing to his otherness is ontologically ‘first’ or ‘higher’. We might observe this in a Christian way, that because the last shall be first, the authoritarian must always be denied.  The relation to the other is interesting as it clearly differs in conception between the conservative and the progressive.  A number of studies conducted in the last twenty years attests to this difference.  In 2008, Oxley et al observed differences in threat sensitivity, noting that,

In a group of 46 adult participants with strong political beliefs, individuals with measurably lower physical sensitivities to sudden noises and threatening visual images were more likely to support foreign aid, liberal immigration policies, pacifism, and gun control, whereas individuals displaying measurably higher physiological reactions to those same stimuli were more likely to favor defense spending, capital punishment, patriotism, and the Iraq War.”

It should be noted that the researchers did not label the collected policy positions as Conservative or Liberal due to their relatively limited testing of political ideology (for example, they did not assess for positions on economic issues).  Sinn and Hayes (2016) compared Jonathan Haidt’s Moral Foundations Theory against the Evolutionary-Coalitional Theory and found that the “individualizing” (harm and fairness) moral foundation of liberals was better understood as a “universalizing motive” that consisted of a “broader set of moral commitments” and a “broader sociality than ethnocentrism”, while the “binding” (authority, respect, purity) moral foundation of conservatives was better characterized as an “authoritarian motive” typified by threat-sensitivity and outgroup antagonism.  Inbar et al (2011) found a positive relationship between disgust sensitivity and political conservatism, which held when controlling for demographic variables as well as the “Big Five” personality traits.  And finally, in 2017, Mendez reviewed personality, evolutionary and genetic, cognitive, neuroimaging, and neurological studies, arriving at the conclusion that

“Evidence [exists] for a normal right-sided “conservative-complex” involving structures sensitive to negativity bias, threat, disgust, and avoidance.”

To the best of my understanding (and there exists a not-so-inconsequential amount of literature to the contrary), the conservative has a stronger sense of self-preservation, aversion to contamination by pathogen, and is therefore more troubled by issues potentially caused by the ‘other’ (such as immigration, diversity and inclusivity mandates, marriage equality, et cetera).  Therefore, ontologically speaking, the ‘other’ is second because the conservative must be first.  With full view of both conservative and progressive lines of reasoning, we arrive at a differing-yet-convergent psychological justification for anti-authoritarian sentiment.  

But is it true that Americans are genuine anti-authoritarians?  We must understand that the most important aspect of this entire phenomenon is how a liberal worldview requires compartmentalization and rationalization among its adherents; full-blown, decadent and permissive 21st century liberalism doesn’t ask the individual to sublimate himself, much less repress any aspect of himself.  All ideas are given equal weight, all values are sanctioned, all actions are laudable, all pursuits are capable of commoditization, and all modes of being are good.  Of course these cannot all be true simultaneously, nor can such a worldview be sustained indefinitely.  And thus, compartmentalization and rationalization become necessary as the limits of the natural world collide with liberal ideology.  The sociopolitical realities of war, sex, race, religion, family, history, morality, class, and their intermediated negotiations increasingly puncture the thin veil of liberal thought, especially as America – for all its technological and material splendor – diminishes in global significance.  Without the prestige and comfortable living standard afforded as a result of being the uncontested leader of the free world, the house of cards noticeably begins to lose its stability.  As these tensions emerge, neurotic and obviously contradictory justifications fill the gaps like cheap glue.  

In truth, the ‘authoritarian’ is the shadow in the soul of the American liberal (conservative and progressive, alike).  And while it may be the force that performs acts of evil, this does not preclude either type from identifying with or enacting residual or latent authoritarianism when a situation of sufficient self-servingness emerges.  As has been pointed out earlier, there are times when life demands acts of authoritative will from us.  It is an unavoidable result of living as material beings that must suffer, and toil, and strive in this world.  The solution to this severing of the conscious from the unconscious finds itself in the execution of some ego defense which resolves the dilemma.  Whether it be through denial, compartmentalization, rationalization – some technique will be applied which will soothe the pain of self-betrayal.  

There is also, of course, the fact that political and philosophical identities are no different from the mask worn by attendees of a masquerade; they are a form of role play which facilitates the navigation of social realities.  So in those circumstances where we are not talking about the true believers who have a deep psychological need to explain their inconsistencies to themselves, we see that in both the conservative and progressive type a kind of childishness – the childishness of one who has been caught in a lie or some other impropriety who, upon being discovered, merely declares “You got me!” and laughs at the silliness of having been taken seriously in the first place.  Not everyone treats the idea as an object of the real, far from it, they are regarded by many (if not, most) as a fanciful and irreverent device which is more a problem of life than a means through which will and action can find their realization.  This psychological fact complicates the ideals of democracy and egalitarianism, and in fact, fatally undermines the liberal worldview.  Taking this into account we can characterize psychological and political liberalism itself as a Kleinian phantasy, a device of the mind through which the individual can interact with the world, but always at a distance, and always with the aid of a litany of ego defenses.  

And so, once more I ask, is the average American anti-authoritarian?  The answer is that every man serves a master, even if that master resides within his own mind.  It is on irrational grounds that we choose our authorities, no matter how coherent or logical the contrivances we make may be.  America’s ongoing crisis of legitimacy has perhaps created a fair-weather anti-authoritarian sentiment, but it is with the wind to be certain.  Different American institutions have burned all their credibility in the minds of different sects of America; those institutions that manage to retain their credibility only do so, again, in compartmentalized ways.  Left-liberals revere the institution of science, but not in its entirety.  Particularly for more extreme liberals and progressives, whole disciplines (e.g., behavioral genetics) are written off entirely.  Right-liberals revere the institution of the church, but not in its entirety.  The Christ that exists in the minds of many Christians today could not be any farther from the man found in the New Testament.  There is nothing Christian about the prosperity doctrine, and yet, many right-liberals conveniently reject the anti-materialism of Christianity in favor of the abundance afforded by capitalism.  When Obama was in office, many right-liberals suddenly became cynical, data-crunching statisticians who took the government’s reports on unemployment and job growth with the tiniest grains of salt.  This was not so when Trump took office.  Many left-liberals were riotous zealots in their opposition to George W. Bush’s warmongering.  Not so, when Obama took office.  Even NPR in 2011 and The Washington Post in 2013 took notice of this fact, asking “Where did the anti-war Left go?”  Americans are not anti-authoritarian, they merely want their authorities.  Only now the country is too big, too bloated, and too divided to provide a universally legitimate authority figure.  As we have seen with the recent coronavirus pandemic, Americans may not be as comfortable with authoritarianism as say, China is, but it would be a far cry to argue that a true anti-authoritarian sentiment rests deep inside the American soul.

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The Logic of the Conservative Purges

In a commentary, “Golden Days,” commemorating the 50th anniversary of National Review, Jonah Goldberg describes how his magazine’s founder dealt with ideological dissent:

Buckley employed intellectual ruthlessness and relentless personal charm to keep that which is good about libertarianism, what we have come to call “social conservatism,” and what was necessary about anti-Communism in the movement. This meant throwing friends and allies off the bus from time to time. The Randians, the Rothbardian anarchists and isolationists, the Birchers, the anti-Semites, the me-too Republicans: all of these groups in various combinations were purged from the movement and masthead, sometimes painfully, sometimes easily, but always with the ideal of keeping the cause honest and pointed north to the ideal in his compass.

A few lines later, we learn the ideal that William F. Buckley assigned to his movement existed “only on paper,” that “conservative dogma remains unsettled, and that conservatism remains cleaved ideologically.” Nonetheless, the movement Buckley built was for Goldberg a breathtaking success—and had been achieved with minimal commotion.

This essay appears in The Great Purge: The Deformation of the Conservative Movement a Radix Journal volume edited by Paul Gottfried and Richard Spencer. In the light of #NRORevolt, it’s worth revisiting.

Rethinking William F. Buckley’s Quest for “Respectability”

In a commentary, “Golden Days,” commemorating the 50th anniversary of National Review, Jonah Goldberg describes how his magazine’s founder dealt with ideological dissent:

Buckley employed intellectual ruthlessness and relentless personal charm to keep that which is good about libertarianism, what we have come to call “social conservatism,” and what was necessary about anti-Communism in the movement. This meant throwing friends and allies off the bus from time to time. The Randians, the Rothbardian anarchists and isolationists, the Birchers, the anti-Semites, the me-too Republicans: all of these groups in various combinations were purged from the movement and masthead, sometimes painfully, sometimes easily, but always with the ideal of keeping the cause honest and pointed north to the ideal in his compass.[1]

A few lines later, we learn the ideal that William F. Buckley assigned to his movement existed “only on paper,” that “conservative dogma remains unsettled, and that conservatism remains cleaved ideologically.” Nonetheless, the movement Buckley built was for Goldberg a breathtaking success—and had been achieved with minimal commotion.

E.J. Dionne, in a similar tribute in the Washington Post, NR’s putative adversary, proclaims that Buckley was not only a man of splendid parts but also one who had “determined to rid the right of the wing nuts. He was, to his everlasting credit, the scourge of anti-Semitism that had once infested significant parts of the right.”[2] Dionne blasted the strange conspiracy theories of the John Birch Society, which he applauds Buckley for unmasking. Unfortunately, little truth can be found in most of his remarks and no more than a sliver in Goldberg’s.

The NR staff devoted a special feature on October 19, 1965, to denouncing the Birch Society, but not for being anti-Semitic (of which there was scant evidence). The complaint was the Birchers did not support the war in Vietnam and had given up the struggle against Communism.[3] It’s worth noting that the best man at Buckley’s wedding, Revilo Oliver, was an outspoken anti-Semite, as well as a formidable classicist and Sanskrit scholar.[4] Oliver continued to write for Buckley’s publication well into the 1960s. Most of those expelled from his magazine and from Buckley’s movement were Jewish libertarians, like Ayn Rand, Frank Chodorov, Murray Rothbard and Ron Hamowy.[5] If the movement before Buckley’s interventions had been dominated by “anti-Semites,” his excommunications hardly amounted to a crusade against them. Goldberg’s mentor was especially hard on Jews who opposed his call for an accelerated struggle to overthrow the Soviet Empire. In Rand’s case, he turned against someone who was stridently atheistic.

Even more astonishing, although not likely to be challenged by the liberal-neoconservative media, is Goldberg’s suggestion that purges occurred in the conservative movement only quite rarely. To the contrary, they were frequent; one could say that they shaped the conservative movement.

English historian A.J.P. Taylor once observed, with regard to the Habsburgs, that “countries were episodes in the history of a dynasty.” In a like way, purges were episodes in the journalistic careers of those who led the conservative movement. And these expulsions took place so frequently that it may be helpful to divide them into different periods in accordance with the changing interests of movement elites. The purges did not all take place for the same reason, and identifying this complicated process with “fighting the scourge of anti-Semitism” is to indulge in fantasy.

“Being thrown off the bus” had implications beyond being kept from writing essays for National Review. As the conservative media empire took form, thanks largely to steady infusions of money each year from Australian benefactor Rupert Murdoch, being banned by one of its organs brought huge consequences. Someone banned from Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, or National Review, for example, would not likely be welcome in an affiliated movement publication or be put on FOX News, which enjoys the same sponsorship and represents the same ideology.

There are exceptions to this rule, as seen by the occasional appearance on FOX of Pat Buchanan, someone who is clearly offensive to NR and The Weekly Standard. But this exception may have been allowed because Buchanan is a widely read journalist. His occasional appearance on FOX may also be conditional on his not stirring the pot unduly on a channel run by neoconservatives and the Republican establishment. During his recent TV appearances, Pat (to my knowledge) has never contradicted his host, which may be why he is allowed to maintain his exceptional status.

There may be another reason for this status, namely that Buchanan had been removed from a Democratic rival channel, MSNBC. For years the directors of this channel had provided a berth for a figure of the Old Right; and it featured him on a regular basis, unlike FOX, which only permits Buchanan to participate in its discussions every now and then. Like other members of the Old Right, Buchanan was sent into limbo in the early 1990s for having ticked off Buckley’s esteemed New York friends.[6] A bad enough sin under the old order, this faux pas has proved even costlier under Buckley’s successors. His epigones may be driven even more than their master by desire for acceptance from mainstream journalists. The Heritage Foundation, The American Enterprise Institute, National Review, The Wall Street Journal, and other movement fixtures have had nothing to do with Buchanan for decades. They have carefully maintained their distance, although Buchanan’s books on politics and international relations have soared on the New York Times bestseller list.

For the less successful and less fortunate, however, being kicked off the bus has usually brought catastrophic results. The campaign of vilification that has accompanied marginalization has usually left its object socially and professionally ruined. Typical targets of this process were the Southern conservative M.E. Bradford and the populist journalist and critic of managerial democracy Samuel T. Francis. The elimination of Bradford as frontrunner for the National Endowment for the Humanities Directorship in 1981 and, 10 years later, the removal of Samuel Francis as the star columnist by the already neoconservative-controlled Washington Times followed a now-familiar course. Those condemned as outcasts by movement leaders suffered repeated journalistic attacks and were accused of being bigots rather than “conservatives.” Liberal journalists joined these campaigns and often seemed to be working in tandem with their neoconservative acquaintances, in order to drive “wing nuts” out of respectable conservatism. Printed assaults against the designated extremists were so devastating that their victims never regained standing as respectable writers.

Speaking as a minor target of such attacks, which operated in my case mostly surreptitiously, I noticed that my adversaries were working doggedly to isolate me. Mine, of course, was not a typical purge. Unlike others who were purged more dramatically, I never left a paper trail on such abrasive issues as Jews in the media. The recent decision of Intercollegiate Studies Institute to sever any connection with me as a writer did not arise because I was thought to be a “racist.” This action was taken because, through my leadership of the HL Mencken Club, I have associated myself with people who stress hereditary cognitive differences.[7] But in the 1980s, I fell out of favor for less ridiculous reasons. I was marginalized merely because I insisted too loudly that generic leftists had been permitted to take over the Right.

I had no illusion when neoconservatives slandered me to the administration at Catholic University of America, which resulted in my being denied a graduate professorship that was about to be offered to me, that the attacks would thereafter stop. After this incident, I was never again allowed to write for “movement conservative” publications. The editors of these, also not incidentally, refuse to review my books; and my name has scarcely appeared in a movement magazine after my rejection at CUA. One of the rare times it has was in David Frum’s wholesale denunciation of the non-aligned Right, “Unpatriotic Conservatives.” Here, he claimed that his friends had done nothing to harm me professionally, let alone to occasion my outbursts; indeed I had fabricated my narrative because I was a troubled person.[8]

My case was exceptional because aside from suggestions that I had taken leave of my senses, there was no campaign waged against me as an “anti-Semite” or “racist.” I held on to an academic post until I retired in 2011, although I might have obtained higher professional prizes, if neoconservatives had not weighed in against me, as I subsequently learned, at other institutions beside CUA. But I cannot claim that I was as badly battered as other exiles.

The more abused victims died within a relatively short time of their humiliation, emotionally as well as professionally crushed. Goldberg’s comment about people in his movement being pushed off the bus only from time to time borders on the puerile. the American Communist Party looked like a band of cloistered monks in comparison to the cannibalistic movement that Buckley founded, and which Goldberg continues to slobber over.

For accurate classification, certain distinctions should be made. Not all of those who were thrown off the bus suffered their fate for the same reason, although according to movement leaders and those who prepared the Wikipedia biography of Buckley, purge targets were mostly raging anti-Semites or obnoxious racialists. All the worse for the facts! In the early days, those who were expelled from Buckley’s movement were critics of his Cold War politics and often uncompromising libertarians. Misrepresenting why they were expelled was easy enough because Buckley’s idolaters, like E.J. Dionne, collaborated in writing the authorized accounts. In the 1980s, intellectuals and authors on the right were thrown off the bus because the neoconservatives who took over the conservative movement found them to be (well!) troublesome.

These undesirables fell into two camps: Southerners like M.E. Bradford and his followers, who made no apologies for the Confederacy and expressed misgivings about the civil-rights revolution; and critics of the aggressive liberal internationalist foreign policy that was associated with the neoconservatives. those who fell into the two camps coalesced for a time as a “paleoconservative” insurgency; and they were soon joined by libertarians of a socially traditionalist stripe, like Murray Rothbard and, for a time, Lew Rockwell.[9] the movement smeared all these dissenters, with the all-purpose charge of “anti-Semitism.” It was the late Joe Sobran, a former Senior Editor of National Review and himself the victim of a neoconservative purge, who noticed the shifting meaning of “anti-Semite,” from someone who hates Jews to someone whom certain Jews in high places don’t like.

In the late 1990s, such journalists as John O’Sullivan and Peter Brimelow were pushed out of positions at National Review for having failed to take the obligatory neoconservative line in favor of third World immigration. Commentary, the Wall Street Journal, Policy Review and other neoconservative information sources were then gushingly pro-immigration, and O’Sullivan and Brimelow, who had moved demonstratively in the opposite direction, fell afoul of his patrons.

By then, however, racial illiberalism became even more serious grounds for excommunication, as illustrated by the Francis affair. Pro-immigration advocates Linda Chavez and John Miller went after Francis for his statements, made in response to an apology by the Southern Baptist Convention for their ancestors’ practice of slavery, that the Bible did not condemn this peculiar institution.[10] Chavez and Miller found an ally a few months later in a reliable neoconservative author Dinesh D’Souza, who denounced Francis as an isolated representative of 19th-century White racism. This may have been a conspicuous act of ingratitude, since D’Souza borrowed from Francis and the self-described “race realist” Jared Taylor in writing his not very original and not very accurate tome The End of Racism.[11]

By the end of 1995, a mainstream right-of-center journalist, with a biting wit and distinctive literary style, went from being a nationally syndicated writer to a professionally isolated figure. Since then, other widely publicized purges have taken place. The firings of John Derbyshire by National Review and of Jason Richwine by The Heritage Foundation had related causes.[12] In both cases, highly gifted researchers and writers were thrust out of their employment, once having been stigmatized as “racists” by the leftist press. Conservative employers fired these subordinates out of consideration for or fear of their leftist acquaintances.

It is hard to establish a single ideological pattern for all these events. But there is a definite gestalt that can be easily identified since the 1980s. The most salient purges have been at the expense of those who displeased neoconservative and/or liberal journalists. Although White racism and anti-Semitism have been the usual causes given, one must wonder whether these consistently provide the true explanation for what happened. Those who were purged may have been considered unpleasant types who were resisting a changing party line. A neoconservative favorite Victor Davis Hanson posted statements about blacks in a column for National Review Online in July 2013 that looked strikingly like Derbyshire’s indiscretions. Indeed Derbyshire published a column on Vdare. a few weeks after the posting of Hanson’s column, showing rhetorical parallels between his offending remarks and those of Hanson.[13] But there is a difference: Hanson occupies a higher position in the movement than the ones previously held by Derbyshire and Richwine. For years, Hanson has dutifully upheld most standard neoconservative views on just about everything, and according to the neoconservative press, if not in fact, he is among America’s “premier classical historians.”[14]

Richwine lost his job as a researcher because of the discovery of statistics in a doctoral dissertation, approved at Harvard University, in which there are detailed references to the relatively low IQs of recent immigrant groups.[15] But why did the placing of such material in a Harvard dissertation years before result in the recent dismissal of someone employed by a “conservative” institution? Again, other factors should be taken into account. At the time of his firing and subsequent blackballing by movement foundations and magazines, Richwine had not achieved high distinction within what is euphemistically styled “the conservative policy community.” He therefore seemed easily expendable to the newly named director of the Heritage Foundation, Jim DeMint. A skittish Southern Republican, who has labored to prove he’s not a “racist,” DeMint was not dealing in Richwine’s case with a prominent figure, say, of the stature of Charles Murray, a man who has been an ally of the neoconservative establishment. Murray has put into sharp relief the IQ differences between ethnic and racial groups. Yet nothing approaching Richwine’s fate befell the author of The Bell Curve, who has been celebrated in such neoconservative shrines as the American Enterprise Institute, National Review, and Commentary. Unfortunately for his career, however, the young Richwine was not in the same league as Murray in terms of his value to the movement.

The relation between purge victims and the movement’s leadership may be critical for understanding the events in question. Much can be forgiven and even shoved down a memory hole for those who count. Although Norman Podhoretz as editor of Commentary ranted against gays for decades, as documented by Gary Dorrien in The Neoconservative Mind[16], this did not prevent Podhoretz’s allies from hypocritically decrying Buchanan as a “homophobe” in 1992. This transpired, let us note, after Buchanan, speaking at the Republican national convention, made a reference to the strange lifestyles that prevailed among members of the opposition party. But this was small beer in comparison to what neoconservatives had said about gays a few years earlier. As late as 1984, a neoconservative heroine, Jeane Kirkpatrick, in an address before the Republican National Convention, sneered at the Democrats for their “San Francisco values.”[17] Her sneers elicited resounding applause from neoconservative journalists. And so homophobia, we may assume, was not the real cause for the animus against Buchanan: Neocons hate him not as a homophobe but as a harsh critic of the Zionist lobby and as someone whom they perceive as an isolationist. As late as the spring of 1992, it was feared that Buchanan might win the presidential nomination against the politically weakened, tongue-tied George Bush, Sr.

Similar double standards were at work in the character assassination of Bradford in 1981, in which neoconservative journalists, particularly George Will and the editors of the Wall Street Journal, played key roles. Bradford’s alleged offense was to have characterized Lincoln as a tyrant and to have likened his invasion of the South to Hitler’s attack on Germany’s neighbors and Cromwell’s invasion of Ireland. The invectives against Bradford, which focused on a footnote in one of his many books, were remarkably virulent, considering the sparse space given to the controversial comparison as against Bradford’s total output as a literary scholar.[18]

The attacks were also profoundly dishonest as one learns from a revealing essay published by Podhoretz in 1963 in Commentary, “My Negro Problem—and Ours.”[19] Unlike Bradford, who never expressed dislike for Black people, Podhoretz explained in agonizing detail how he was managing his “hatred” for Negroes. These effusions, however, did not serve to disqualify this co-father of neoconservatism (along with Irving Kristol) from leadership in the conservative movement. Nor did his stated revulsion for those of different skin color diminish Podhoretz’s considerable clout in the Reagan administration. After all, not all anti-Negroes are created equal. Some are blessed with New York Jewish liberal as well as National Review friends, and then there are the others, who speak with Oklahoma or Texas twangs and who attend Baptist churches. Let’s not get the two confused!

Piling on to Bradford in 1981 were also Buckley and Heritage president Edwin Feulner. Both of these movement dignitaries, whose fortunes by then were intertwined with the neoconservative ascendancy, visited newly elected President Reagan. They asked him to reconsider the nomination of Bradford and presented their Southern friend of many decades as someone who would bring disgrace to the NEH Directorship. While on their visit to the White House, the same conservative luminaries plugged the candidacy of a liberal Democrat, William Bennett, whom the neoconservatives were prepping for the office they intended to close off to Bradford.

The assault on the courtly Texan Bradford was based on, among other things, crass material interest. The neoconservatives hoped to put their own favorite in a position that would yield them pecuniary benefits. If things worked out as they hoped (as, indeed, they did), they would have hundreds of millions of dollars in NEH grant money to distribute to their minions. Their destruction of Bradford’s reputation and, ultimately, life was collateral damage in this money grab. As I documented in the second edition of The Conservative Movement[20], among the payoffs for the hit on Bradford was a grant of hundreds of thousands of dollars that went to a Stalinist historian, who has since morphed into a figure of the multicultural Left, Eric Foner. This then neoconservative ally published a defamatory commentary against Bradford as a prejudiced Southerner, in what became a widely distributed newspaper column.

These incidents illustrate the difficulty of attributing all purges in the conservative movement to changes in ideological direction. Equally important were the social dynamics and the political and material goals of movement players at the time the purges unfolded. Smearing those who are purged as “right-wing extremists” has often been a tactic for winning the Left’s approval, rather than the major reason for the purge. Although Jason Richwine had done nothing critical to offend the Left at the time of his dismissal, his employer may have decided this young employee wasn’t worth being saved. throwing Richwine to his enemies had greater value to Heritage than trying to defend a relatively unknown research scholar.

A look at John Derbyshire’s fate at National Review in 2012 reveals more complicated circumstances. Although Derbyshire was a popular contributor, who distinguished himself as a writer on mathematics and political subjects, he may have been too hot for the chief editor, Rich Lowry. A different editor may have reacted differently to the attacks on Derbyshire, but Lowry had worked to ingratiate himself with the New York journalistic establishment, and so he lost no time in removing “Derb.” Lowry was as decisive here as he had been in courting the friendship of the far-left editor of The Nation, Victor Navasky. In his autobiography, Navasky comments on Lowry’s eagerness to please, seen in his abstinence from the kind of “right-wing propaganda” that Navasky had spent his “life fighting.”[21] Presumably, Lowry was also preparing at the time of Derbyshire’s dismissal his recently published tribute to Lincoln, the Great Emancipator. The NR-editor was staking out for himself a reputation as a champion of Black civil rights, naturally after the fact. A British mathematician who might hinder this image-building had to be sacked, no matter how brilliantly he was able to put together his sentences.[22]

“Being thrown off the bus” has not in all cases entailed beginning from the same spot but it has meant ending in a marginalized situation. This is the second generalization about being purged: though not all expulsions occurred for the same reasons, every one of them was spun in the same way: as a dismissal of various “right-wing” fanatics. Since those purged were forever tainted with racism and anti-Semitism—and in some cases, Holocaust denial—it would thereafter become impossible for them to regain lost professional ground. Nor would the attacks on them from movement leaders necessarily stop after they had been fired from a conservative magazine, dismissed from a GOP foundation, or removed from the board of a self-described traditionalist or libertarian institute. At best, these targets would be treated as bodies that had dropped off the planet (which has been my fate). In other cases, those thrown off the bus were exposed to further abuse, as happened to Murray Rothbard in an obituary published by Buckley in National Review.[23] In this outburst, one finds a far-fetched comparison being made between Rothbard and cult leader David Koresh. Neither apparently had more than a handful of followers: Rothbard had “as many disciples as David Koresh had in his redoubt in Waco.” “Yes, Rothbard believed in freedom; David Koresh believed in God.” What is glaringly evident here is the animus, if not rage, present in Buckley about his victims. What else could have motivated him to publish these graceless statements?

And the fact is the expulsions have gone forward for more than one reason. Still, this generalization may be hazarded: In the last 30 years, purges have reflected the leftist course of the conservative movement and, more generally, of the Republican Party. Anti-racism, anti-Anti-Semitism, moderate feminism and, certainly in the younger generation of neoconservatives, enthusiasm for gay rights, including gay marriage, have all become characteristic positions of a transformed conservative movement. Conservatism, Inc. has moved exactly in the same direction as the Center Left, albeit more slowly, and it has made critical distinctions between what count as permanent concerns and what may be changed. Clearly, support for the Israeli Right, liberal internationalism as a foreign policy, and improving the tax and trade situation for large corporations are more important to the movement than whether an editor at National Review endorses gay marriage as a human right. Social issues are brought up in such circles as a parenthetical activity, to jolly along the GOP’s Evangelical base and to appease subscribers and donors to certain publications.

The Australian media baron Rupert Murdoch, who keeps the neoconservative-GOP media awash in funds, is a leftist on most social issues but also a fervent Zionist. Murdoch therefore is willing to put up with social positions that offend him because he grasps the depth of support for his cause coming from Evangelical Christians. But his media beneficiaries can distinguish between core issues and less weighty ones. Those decidedly leftist positions they took on social issues did not keep Rudy Giuliani and Joe Lieberman from enjoying the favor of the conservative media when their names were floated for the presidential nomination. In 2008 and earlier, William Bennett—the beneficiary of the war against Bradford, who has wasted his fortunes as a conservative celebrity on his gaming habits[24]—was a vocal proponent of Joe Lieberman for president. Despite the fact that this Connecticut senator took stands on social and most economic issues that coincided with those of Barack Obama, he was a hawk on foreign policy, and that’s what really mattered.

Equally relevant, the effect of the leftist shifts of the conservative movement, which are usually accompanied by widely publicized purges, has helped push permissible political discussion in the same direction. It is naïve to believe, like rank-and-file conservative groupies, that their movement has moved to the left only in response to where “the culture” has drifted. the conservative movement, no less than its center-right counterparts in Canada and Europe, has contributed to how our political culture has developed.

The establishment opposition will habitually move leftward, often taking up ideological positions previously held by its enemies (for instance, MLK idolatry or moderate feminism). this move builds consensus, to a certain degree, but it ultimately encourages the Left to venture on more boldly. the conservative movement has thus not simply been dragged along by the leftward drift of American culture; it has ensured the success of its putative enemies. Conservatism’s younger spokesmen often sound like the opposition because they have been educated in the same institutions, picked up the same ideas, and inhabit the same social world. Because of the pervasiveness of the neoconservative-GOP media outreach and the lack of a fearless alternative on the right, rank-and-file Republicans assume that the anti-Democratic side must be conservative. the Left is as eager as Fox News and National Review to make this identification stick.

Beyond this ideological factor, there is another condition that is contributing to the purges. It is the context in which the conservative movement acts and speaks. It belongs to a larger media empire and plays by its rules and pursues the same interests as its slightly more leftist dialogue-partners. the conservative movement works to be “inclusive,” but not by including those on its right in its televised discussion but by hosting the Left. Conservative groupies never seem to notice this tilt. Instead, they gush with delight over how Jonah Goldberg or Bill O’Reilly has challenged an insufficiently patriotic Black guest or an opponent of bombing Syria. this prescribed debate rarely if ever strays from the values of the political establishment.

All members of this establishment share certain beliefs, however much they may bicker over elections and hot-button issues. they each accept a vast welfare state, opportunistically invoke the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr., accuse the other side of “racism,” and celebrate the advance of feminist and gay rights. If there are acceptable political differences, then the authorized participants define what they are. For example: do we want the novelty of Obamacare or the legacy programs of LBJ? Or, are we being loyal to the legacy of Martin Luther King by introducing more anti-discrimination laws or do we have enough of such measures at the present moment, so that the slain civil rights leader would not have wanted any more of them? Though one might note a certain acerbic quality to these examples, they are not exaggerations, and I mention them to underline the narrow range of differences that exists within the media class. Their debates are usually full of sound and fury, signifying very little. Implicit throughout is an agreement to limit discussion to a tight range of subjects.

Those who have been purged were seen as having gotten in the way of business as usual. They raised unwanted questions or were trying to re-introduce ideas that the media class no longer wanted brought up. In this authorized public discussion, the conservative media thrive as “the other team.” Although not as numerous or as influential as the liberal Left, Team B participates in a largely ritualized dialectic. As such, its journalists are given access to the New York Times, Washington Post, and other liberal organs. Unlike the long-vilified “paleoconservatives” or the younger and more obstreperous racialists and “alt” rightists, the Murdoch Empire enjoys the status of a respectable adversary. Integral to keeping this status, as Samuel Francis noticed in the 1980s, is a willingness to purge and humiliate right-wing dissenters.

As of this writing, there are many indications that FOX is moving with deliberateness toward embracing gay marriage. It is relying upon one of the channel’s comely commentators, Megyn Kelly, to talk down or trivialize opponents of this newly discovered human right. This is not so much a volte-face as it is a predictable accommodation of the Left. All social questions from the standpoint of the Murdoch media empire are negotiable, providing the authorized dissenter never challenges liberal internationalism and providing that it stays close enough to the Left as to make debate with the rest of the political establishment possible. One may expect new purges to occur against those who hold out against gay marriage or who divert us inappropriately from those few issues that are featured as necessary for getting Republicans elected.

Aside from the Birchers, who constituted a mass movement that was independent of Buckley, most of the objects of past purges posed little danger to official conservatism. But movement leaders were intent on proving their “moderateness” by warring against right-wing specters. the most recent purges help us better understand those that took place in the first two decades of conservatism’s ascendancy. Looking back on the Birchers in 2008, Buckley claimed to be seeking to isolate a lunatic fringe that could damage the serious Right. But at the time of the purge (October 1965), James Burnham wrote clearly in NR that the contributing editors were reacting against the Birchers’ “unpatriotic”—a term Frum would later latch on to—opposition to America’s latest foreign intervention.[25] The leader of the Society, Robert Welch, had “given up on the Vietnam War,” and he and his members were accused of representing “the isolationist tradition that survives in many parts of the country, though it no longer gets much recognition, even from many of those who still share it.” In other words, virtually every purge since that of the Birchers, whether justified on the basis of “racism,” “anti-Semitism,” or “homophobia,” has been more of the same.

In summation, the conservative movement that came into existence in the 1950s, contemporaneously with the founding of National Review, did not engage in purges only every now and then; nor did it remove people, with the cooperation of liberal journalists, because its targets were “wing nuts:” Its victims became “wing nuts” by virtue of having been purged and slandered. the purges were not a passing or merely ancillary aspect of conservatism; they were a defining characteristic of a movement, whose function was to stake out ground where the Left had been the moment before. “Conservatism” turned by design into a “harmless persuasion” (Samuel Francis’s memorable term) vis-à-vis the progress of liberalism, including Cultural Marxism. through its alliance with corporate interests and ethnic lobbies and through a carefully limited (and thus easily abandoned) opposition to such initiatives from the Left as the Voting Rights Act and the feminist revolution, Conservatism, Inc. has been able to survive and grow as a media power. It has also depicted the therapeutic welfare society in which we live, for better or worse, as a product of “free-market capitalism.”

Not all purges are necessarily disastrous; and one can think of some, like driving quacks out of the medical profession or Communist agents out of government security posts after the Second World War, which some of us would applaud. But the purges discussed have been less constructive. For decades the movement’s power brokers have been blacklisting original and independent minds; and what has been lost from the public debate is a generation of serious critical thinkers on what is now the non-aligned Right.

The calls by the conservative movement for “tolerance” in universities and the media ring hollow, given their tainted source. Conservatism, Inc. has been no more open to intellectual freedom than the forces of the Left it has sanctimoniously attacked. In fact, the Left has contributed to the respectability of this faux Right by helping to hide its cannibalistic habits. Perhaps someday, in a less controlled media culture, these truths may become more widely known. But at the present time, such an airing of inconvenient facts is not likely to occur.




PAUL EDWARD GOTTFRIED has been one of America’s leading intellectual historians and paleoconservative thinkers for over 40 years, and is the author of many books, including Conservatism in America (2007), The Strange Death of Marxism (2005), After Liberalism (1999), Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt (2002), and Leo Strauss and the Conservative Movement in America (2012). A critic of the neoconservative movement, he has warned against the growing lack of distinctions between the Democratic and Republican parties and the rise of the managerial state. He has been acquainted with many of the leading American political figures of recent decades, including Richard Nixon and Patrick Buchanan. He is Professor Emeritus of Humanities at Elizabethtown College and a Guggenheim recipient.



  1. Jonah Goldberg “Golden Days: Standing with Buckley & co. & at 50 years young,” National Review Online, October 27, 2005, accessed January 15, 2015, (http://www. nationalreview.com/articles/215784/golden-days/jonah-goldberg). ↩︎
  2. E.J. Dionne, “Buckley: The Right’s Practical Intellectual,” Washington Post, October 11, 2005, accessed January 15, 2015, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/10/AR2005101001204.html. ↩︎
  3. See William F. Buckley Jr., “Goldwater, the John Birch Society, and Me,” Commentary, 1 March 2008, accessed January 15, 2015, http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/goldwater-the-john-birch-society-and-me/. ↩︎
  4. Oliver wrote frequently for both National Review and the publications of the John Birch Society, but had broken with both organizations by the mid-1960s. See Revilo P. Oliver, America’s Decline: The Education of a Conservative (London: Londinium, 1981); Nesta Bevan, “The Forgotten Conservative,” Taki’s Magazine, 22 September, 2009, accessed January 15, 2015, http://takimag.com/article/the_forgotten_conservative/print#axzz3TjqVkraQ. ↩︎
  5. See Murray Rothbard, The Betrayal of the American Right (Auburn, Al.: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2007). ↩︎
  6. Buckley, In Search of Anti-Semitism (New York: Continuum, 1992). ↩︎
  7. See Paul E. Gottfried, “When Will Intercollegiate Studies Institute Disassociate Itself From Notorious Racist Russell Kirk?” Vdare.com, August 29, 2014, accessed January 15, 2015, http://www.vdare.com/articles/when-will-intercollegiate-studies-institute-disassociate-itself-from-notorious-racist-russell-kirk. ↩︎
  8. David Frum,“Unpatriotic Conservatives,” National Review, 25 March 2003, accessed January 15, 2015, http://archive.frontpagemag.com/readArticle. aspx?ARTID=19130. ↩︎
  9. See Paul E. Gottfried, “A Paleo Epitaph,” Taki’s Magazine, April 7, 2008, accessed January 15, 2015, http://takimag.com/article/a_paleo_epitaph/print#axzz37HaJQ11l. ↩︎
  10. See Samuel T. Francis, Essential Writings on Race, edited by Jared Taylor (Oakton, Va.: The New Century Foundation, 2008). ↩︎
  11. Dinesh D’Souza, The End of Racism: Principles for a Multiracial Society (New York: Free Press, 1995); Jared Taylor, “The ‘Tainted’ Sources of The End of Racism” American Renaissance, November 1995, accessed March 7, 2015, http://www.amren.com/archives/back-issues/november-1995/#article2. ↩︎
  12. Rich Lowry,“Parting Ways,” National Review Online, 7 April, 2012, accessed January 15, 2015, http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/295514/parting-ways-rich-lowry; for typical response to the Jason Richwine’s “resignation” from The Heritage Foundation, see Dylan Matthews, “Jason Richwine doesn’t understand why people are mad at him,” Washington Post, August 9, 2013, accessed January 15, 2015, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/08/09/jason-richwine-doesnt-understand-why-people-are-mad-at-him/. ↩︎
  13. Victor Davis Hanson, “Facing Facts about Race: Young black males are at greater risk from their peers than from the police or white civilians,” National Review Online, July 23, 2013, accessed March 7, 2015, http://www.nationalreview.com/article/354122/facing-facts-about-race-victor-davis-hanson; John Derbyshire, “Will National Review Derbyshire Victor Davis Hanson?” Vdare.com, July 25, 2013, accessed January 15, 2015, https://www.vdare.com/articles/john-derbyshire-wonders-will-national-review-derbyshire-victor-davis-hanson. ↩︎
  14. See F. Roger Devlin, “The Case of Victor Davis Hanson: Farmer, Scholar, Warmonger,” The Occidental Quarterly, Vol. 3, No. 4, accessed January 15, 2015, http://www.toqonline.com/archives/v3n4/TOQv3n4Devlin.pdf. ↩︎
  15. Jason Richwine,“IQ and Immigration Policy” (Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard Graduate School of Art & Sciences, 2009), accessed January 15, 2015, http://delong.typepad.com/pdf-1.pdf. ↩︎
  16. Gary Dorrien, The Neoconservative Mind: Politics, Culture, and the War of Ideology (Mapping Racisms) (Temple University Press, 1993). ↩︎
  17. Jeane Kirkpatrick, “Blame America First,” Speech to Republican National Convention, August 20, 1984, accessed January 15, 2015, http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/1996/conventions/san.diego/facts/GOP. speeches.past/84.kirkpatrick.shtml. ↩︎
  18. Mel E. Bradford, A Better Guide Than Reason: Studies in the American Revolution (Peru, Il.: Sherwood Sugden & Co, 1979). ↩︎
  19. Norman Podhoretz, “My Negro Problem-And Ours,” Commentary, 1 February, 1963, accessed January 15, 2015, http://www. commentarymagazine.com/article/my-negro-problem-and-ours/. ↩︎
  20. Gottfried, The Conservative Movement, revised edition (Woodbridge, Ct.: Twayne Publishers, 1992). ↩︎
  21. Victor Navasky, A Matter of Opinion (New York: New Press, 2005). ↩︎
  22. . Navasky,“Protest and Survive: Thoughts on the critical role of the journal of dissent in America,” The Nation, 28 April, 2005, accessed January 15, 2015, http://www.thenation.com/article/protest-and-survive#. ↩︎
  23. William F. Buckley, Jr., “Murray Rothbard, RIP,” National Review, 6 February, 1995. ↩︎
  24. See “Relentless Moral Crusader Is Relentless Gambler,” New York Times, May 3, 2003, accessed January 15, 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2003/05/03/national/03GAMB.html. ↩︎
  25. James Burnham, “Get US Out!” National Review, 19 October, 1965. ↩︎

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