Time for the Republicans to retire

I try not to pay attention to them, but I haven’t been able to completely avoid hearing about the aspiring Republican candidates.  Except for Gingrich, they’re not a bad lot personally, but all these primaries mean that we’re forced to look at the ugly reality that is “Republican ideas“.  I’m afraid I don’t think that anybody who is sympathetic to the idea of imposing a flat tax or of bombing Iran has any business being anywhere near political power–the first because I can’t imagine why a massive transfer of tax burden from the rich to the middle class, and a corresponding transfer of wealth from the middle class to the rich, would be a desirable thing, the second because I generally think wars are things to be avoided, at least when there is absolutely no reason for provoking one.  Then there’s the whole “The national debt is out of control!  We have to cut taxes!” think that just makes it hard to take them seriously.  Yes, among the Republican establishment, we social conservatives are morons for supporting normative gender roles, but holding as dogma that the U.S. economy is always on the right side of the Laffer curve–that’s the heart of conservatism, right?  It pains me to say it, but it is now the Republicans who are the class warfare party.  Revenue neutral tax change by definition means a burden is being taken off one group and put onto another.  Hence, neoconservative publications–even First Things, as I’ve noted before–have started making noises about how the bottom half aren’t pulling their tax weight, and republican virtue demands that those slackers pony up.  On the other hand, corporate income taxes and capital gains taxes must be reduced.  It was hard work, but the Republicans have succeeded in living down to image of them painted by their enemies.  They do make the Democrats’ accusation of being the rich man’s party hard to dismiss.

Sometimes they try to prove that they’re the “conservative” party, but this doesn’t impress me, since the Republicans don’t know what conservatism means.  I’m more reactionary than anyone registered with that party, and I see no reason why people shouldn’t be forced to buy health insurance–put an end to those free riders, I say!  I also don’t understand this stubborn refusal to consider the possibility that global warming is real and man-made.  What does any of this have to do with defending Christendom and the patriarchal family?

The Republicans simply can’t be trusted with power.  They would do no good on the issues we care about, but because we are unfairly associated with them in the public mind, their incompetence would tarnish us.  I can’t work up any desire to see them defeat even our unambiguous enemies–the baby-killing, sodomy-promoting anti-clerical Democrats.

Why, though?  Why can’t a national party even appear to be worthy of public trust?  The end of the Cold War has been very bad for the Republicans.  Back when communism ravaged half the world and promised to bring its hellish rule to the other half, the Republican positions kind of made sense.  It was good and necessary that the one nation capable of resisting the Reds should do so, making its own the interests of all mankind.  Today, the Red menace is gone, and American hegemony has become a fact in search of a purpose.  In the face of communist agitation, condemnations of “socialism” and defenses of the free market as by far the lesser evil were also good and necessary.  Today, nobody’s talking about nationalizing industries, and all this talk about “socialism” is meaningless.  The Cold War gave the Republicans a sensible stand on foreign policy and economics–the two areas in which they got a reputation for being “strong”.  The lack of a communist threat rendered all of that irrelevant.

Still, one would think that the collapse and discrediting of socialism would have been more disorienting for the parties of the Left.  Yet they got through it without a hitch, arguably stronger than before, now that they were no longer associated (fairly or not) with a brutal tyranny.  And the center-right parties went into ideological drift, no longer sure what their purpose was to be, and easy prey to every charismatic charlatan looking for followers.

I think the ultimate reason is the rout of conservatives from academia.  People on this blog–including, sometimes, me–attack the pretensions of experts, but one really can’t run a modern nation-state without them.  The Republicans have no experts that they can trust, so they’re running blind.  The physicists tell them that their missile defense plan will never work.  That’s something we should be able to speak on.  However, the Republicans knew that most physicists are commies and would rather America not be able to defend herself from Soviet or Chinese missile attack; therefore, the experts can’t be trusted.  So the Republicans insisted on throwing more and more money at this boondoggle.  The Republicans decide that we should put a manned base on the moon, and then put men on Mars.  Where did they get this hare-brained idea?  Certainly not from the astronomers; we would have told them what a waste of money this is and how it will cripple the valuable space exploration and science work that NASA has been and is doing.  But most of us are commies, so another boondoggle had to be carried along until a Democratic president thankfully killed it.  And those are just the two biggest partisan issues in my personal field.

The Republicans thought they could do without the universities, because they would have think tanks instead.  This has obviously not worked out.  Academia’s peer review process is certainly imperfect, but the think tank system seems to be totally without merit.  Throw enough money at unaffiliated intellectuals, and you’ll find people to tell you want you want to hear.

I of course have a prejudice, given where I work, that universities are the center of the world.  There is some truth to it though.  I would rather that my beliefs were respectable among the intellectual elite than that they could win votes among the masses.  The masses have inertia but no initiative.  What the elite want them to believe, they will believe; it just takes a generation to make the shift.

45 Responses

  1. Interesting. As a non-American, I probably know less about this than you, but Santorum actually seems good on most of the core social conservative issues. The only notable exception is immigration, and even there he appears to be improving. That said, he really toes the party line on economics and foreign policy, and on a personal level, he doesn’t seem very “presidential” or intellectually weighty.

  2. The end of the Cold War has been very bad for the Republicans.

    This is really the whole explanation for the disorder of the R party. There is no right in the US, really. During the Cold War, there were a lot of diverse people who thought the threat from the commies was serious enough to be worth doing something about. Some intellectual whores were engaged to pretend that there was ideological coherence to the commies-are-bad party. Now that the commies are gone, and it’s important to come up with something to replace them with before Republicans notice that they are not united by any particular common beliefs or interests. The whores are wildly casting about for something, anything to replace the commies with. The imaginary threat from Islam is what they have settled on. But this is so threadbare and stupid that it’s hard to believe it can stagger along much longer. Who knows, though.

    An interesting question is: what is their backup plan once “The towel-heads are coming!!!” stops working?

    I think the ultimate reason is the rout of conservatives from academia.

    This seems wrong to me, though. The R view of the issues is all about politics. Substance just isn’t important to them, exactly because the bright ones understand that there is no such thing as conservatism, and, thus, that there is no such thing as a conservative program. Since their policies are determined by the need to service their rich contributors, they don’t need advice.

    Rs don’t want rightist intellectuals in universities. If they did, they would have them. The two parties are and have been close enough to parity that each has gotten more-or-less what they have wanted. The Rs have low taxes, financial deregulation, and a giant defense industrial complex. The Ds have the means of indoctrination, a court system entirely in the thrall of cultural Marxism, and a large and growing army of direct and indirect government employees.

  3. The thing is, people no longer trust the universities and professors; because they are no longer trustWORTHY. Mainly, in my opinion, because of the combination of hegemony of peer review and the increasing importance of getting published in a “respectable” journal. Big S Science no longer seeks truth; but, seeks influence. Even when they are proven wrong the entrenched power proves insurmountable (see Keynesianism, the Lipid Hypothesis, Marxist historical theory, and, in my opinion, AGW). As Professor Charlton says, They Are Not Even Trying!

  4. I also don’t understand this stubborn refusal to consider the possibility that global warming is real and man-made. What does any of this have to do with defending Christendom and the patriarchal family?

    Indeed, this is a right liberal vs. left liberal fight.

  5. Keynesianism

    The tendency of many conservatives to get hornswoggled by Austrian economics is another disheartening trend.

  6. Indeed.

  7. “I would rather that my beliefs were respectable among the intellectual elite than that they could win votes among the masses.”

    EXACTLY. That’s what I keep telling people on the right, but they never listen, at least not in the Anglo-American world. There are movements in continental Europe that know how to appeal to elites, but Anglo-American right-wingers are wed to some crude populism that just never works. Ideas tend to trickle down into the population. You need to win over a segment of the educated middle class in order to accomplish anything.

  8. Have you ever looked into the work of Proudhon? He was unique among anarchists in that he placed the defense of the patriarchal family at the center of his program.

  9. I like Santorum, so it’s a real shame, a missed opportunity, that he’s gone over so completely to the militaristic democracy-spreading program. I don’t think American conservatism could survive another extended war, especially with an enemy as formidable as Iran, and not with someone as undeniably good on social issues as Santorum as the culprit.

  10. Indeed, this is a right liberal vs. left liberal fight.

    I don’t see that. The heart of the issue is epistemology: how reliable is “science”? (Not very, in my view.) Combating a mentality that facilitates being “carried about with every wind of doctrine” is fairly relevant to defending Christendom.

  11. Austrian economics is a phase that many of us have to go through while finding our way out of the socialistic side of liberalism.

    It at least has the virtue of trying to reason things out from first principles.

    But in the end it’s still a kind of individualism, and shares with Marxism the mistake of seeing things too exclusively through the lens of economics.

  12. I would agree that this is primarily a right liberal vs. left liberal fight. But, I would say that the issue of nationalizing health insurance should be of serious concern to a “patriarchal reactionary” like you, Bonald. Medical care has long been controlled by large conglomerates (whether publicly or privately controlled), so maybe I’m picking a losing fight, but nationalization would just spell the death of any significant family involvement in medical care.

  13. Here’s an interesting link for you, showing just what a mess the Republican party is: What Americans Mean When They Say They’re Conservative.

  14. I think it’s going too far to say the reliability issues raised by AGW are those of science itself, or of the scientific method.

    I think the reliability issues pertain, on the one hand, to the use of computer models to investigate complex phenomena like global weather patterns, and on the other hand, to science as a social institution involving things like peer review, consensus, and the intrusion of politics into research funding decisions.

    Neither of those things are necessary aspects of science.

  15. It at least has the virtue of trying to reason things out from first principles.

    So, a bunch of really Aspergery guys figuring out human nature purely from introspection is something that we’re supposed to take seriously?

    http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2008/01/so-why-isnt-austrian-school-of.php

    Mises, Rothbard, Hayek and Hoppe have all done worthwhile work, but a lot of their theorizing is also kind of nutty.

  16. Also, there is Keynes’ actual economics and then there is the crude popular version where anything is an excuse to spend, spend, spend. His insights about money are sound, but putting them into practice tends to invite a fair amount of corruption.

  17. Well, as I said, for many of us Austrian economics is only a phase — implying that it’s not a final destination.

    In my own case, it was the Austrians’ nod in the direction of natural law that led me to start reading Thomist philosophy, and thus (ironically) propelled me out of liberalism/libertarianism altogether.

  18. Well, okay – strategy, tactics, could do this, shouldn’t do that…

    But the intellectuals have chosen en masse to embrace atheism, leftism: have chosen to become the tools of evil – and thus all the institutions they dominate.

    Can any *human* plans make intellectuals repent their choices? That is the big question.

  19. “I can’t imagine why a massive transfer of tax burden and wealth from the middle class to the rich would be a desirable thing… neoconservative publications–even First Things, as I’ve noted before–have started making noises about how the bottom half aren’t pulling their tax weight, and republican virtue demands that those slackers pony up.”

    So you’re opposed to shifting the burden to the rich AND you are opposed to shifting the burden to the poor?

    “I generally think wars are things to be avoided, at least when there is absolutely no reason for provoking one.”

    Iran getting nuclear weapons is not “no reason” to provoke a war with them.

    “I see no reason why people shouldn’t be forced to buy health insurance”

    The 11th circuit court came up with plenty of reasons — over 300 pages of them, in fact. There is no limit to Congress’s power if the mandate is Constitutional – is that reason enough for you, as a conservative?

    “I also don’t understand this stubborn refusal to consider the possibility that global warming is real and man-made.”

    Because it is bad science, and also plays into the hands of those who want to increase the power of the state to intrude on our political, social, and economic lives (not a coincidence that bad state-supported science supports an increase in state power btw).

    “What does any of this have to do with defending Christendom and the patriarchal family?”

    Well, let’s see, on the face of it, do you think a Congress with essentially unlimited power, and a government with greatly increased power to “save the planet” (and you must give them that power if you agree that global warming is real and man-made) are going to be friends of Christendom and the patriarchal family? I sure don’t.

    “Today, nobody’s talking about nationalizing industries, and all this talk about “socialism” is meaningless.”

    Are you kidding? The increased state power in the name of “social justice” or saving the planet or whatever very definitely has meaning, and very definitely has a negative impact on you and me.

    There has never been a greater need for a genuine, principled defense of free markets. Tragically, Romney is either unable or unwilling to provide one. Tragically, a lot of people – including supposed conservatives – don’t even see that we are, right now, close to a tipping point where preserving free market capitalism will be impossible in America.

    “People on this blog–including, sometimes, me–attack the pretensions of experts, but one really can’t run a modern nation-state without them.”

    Nonsense. The “experts” who run the country politically are NOT the same as the experts who keep the nation state modern, and in fact are often at odds with each other.

    “The physicists tell them that their missile defense plan will never work.”

    No, they don’t, and that’s not true.

    “The Republicans decide that we should put a manned base on the moon, and then put men on Mars. Where did they get this hare-brained idea? Certainly not from the astronomers; we would have told them what a waste of money this is and how it will cripple the valuable space exploration and science work that NASA has been and is doing.”

    NASA is doomed without manned space exploration. It is true that the robots do “better science” but the public won’t pay for robots because they’re not sexy. The public will pay for people (up to a point at least). So, it’s not a choice between people and robotic science, it’s a choice between people or nothing at all.

    “Academia’s peer review process is certainly imperfect, but the think tank system seems to be totally without merit.”

    This is a preposterous overstatement.

  20. Since the intellectual elite is composed of insane Leftists, why do you care about them respecting your views? By definition, if you are a conservative they will not respect your views, since they only respect the views of other insane Leftists.

  21. By the way, Bonald, why do the ads (the still shots of the videos) below your posts always seem to feature women in underwear?

  22. What ads? I don’t see anything.

  23. When an American says he’s a conservative, what he means is that he’s a liberal with paranoia.

  24. I think this is the kind of nonsense you get when you combine the therapeutic liberal state with 24 hour mass media and first-past-the-post voting. PR produces parliaments in Europe that have rightist parties more opposed to permanent warfare in the Muslim world than most European social democratic parties. .Sweden, where the Sweden Democrats are more anti-interventionist than the Greens, is an example that comes to mind.

  25. Of course I wasn’t referring to the ads.

  26. Try reading what Bonald and Drieu wrote instead of what you wish they had written. What Bonald wishes for is an elite different from the one we have now, sufficiently different that his views would be respectable. Drieu seems to think that this can be accomplished by convincing a subset of the elite. I doubt this.

    The droolers can be convinced/distracted later. They are epiphenomenal. Hannity, Beck, Madow, and etc can be re-tasked to hold up Freemasons and shriek “eeeeeeeeeeeeevil” instead of holding up liberals/fascists/Islamists/ChristianRightists/whatever.

    Don’t worry. They’ll make it easy for you. Maha-Rushie will still tell you what to think. You can go on voting for “The Party of Principle (TM).” The only thing that will be different is that it will, you know, have principles.

  27. For me it comes down to this:

    1. The overwhelming consensus of the scientific community in this area is that there is AGW.
    2. The mechanism for this to happen is more than plausible.

    That doesn’t make it an unquestionable truth, but it does mean that would be rather imprudent to completely ignore it.

    And, for me, there is nothing in the slightest conservative or traditionalist about acting in an imprudent way just to spite scientists and/or liberals.

  28. Sorry, Drieu. I agree with you on the issue at hand, but my rule requires me to delete comments with personal insults. I encourage you to make your point again more politely.

  29. Hi JP,

    I miswrote that first point. Thanks for catching it. It’s fixed now.

  30. I’ve been thinking a bit about the alleged worthlessness of think tanks. Charles Murray works for AEI, the most reputable of the conservative think tanks. He is not worthless. In fact, he is very good. John Calfee, who died last year, was another good scholar there. There are others. If you like Romneycare, then you should have some warm feelings towards Heritage, who were deeply involved in that effort.

    Beyond that, I’m baffled that you think that think tanks are worthless. They provide precisely the non-university pool of scholarly and policy-analysis talent that you seem to wish that they did. What they do all day long is crunch data, review scholarly literature, and analyze bills/laws/regulations for members of Congress and other interested parties. Obviously, their scholars have sharply limited intellectual freedom, but you have no problem with that in principle, right? Now R Congressmen are not usually interested in whether policies are a good idea, but they are deeply interested in what policies are going to cost and what effects policies are going to have on unemployment or what effects policies are going to have on their key constituencies . .

    If Rs cared about other aspects of policy, they would get info on those other aspects as well. Perhaps you are blaming the think tanks for what their customers demand? .

  31. Why conservatives aren’t a par:

    1. Academia is not family friendly, so there is a selection effect against those who are more family oriented.
    2. Academics favour ideas that show off their high IQ over common sense. The clever silly phenomenon.
    3. Academics are already drawn from a general population whose respect for tradition and the sacred has been nearly obliterated by prosperity, comfort, and safety.
    4. Once a critical mass is reached, academia becomes an uninviting place for conservatives.

    Number 3 seems to me most important. Academics are even more liberal than the general population, but the general population is really liberal.

    ————————————————————-

    Liberalism is retarded, so at the very top you often get a fair number of intellectuals with rightish tendencies, but conservatism really does suffer for not having many run of the mill Ph.D.s.

  32. “Why conservatives aren’t a par:”

    Sorry, this should be: Why conservatives aren’t a bigger part of academia.

  33. Bonald, you remind me of my eldest son. He has also been in the university environment for well over 20 years, since he finished high school.

    The rest of my family is very conservative, though not all started out that way. He tells us he is also conservative, and we laugh at him. He is way over there by the left wall, but because his is a few inches farther from the left wall then his university peers he imagines he is very conservative.

    We have tried to find any major point where he differs from the stereotypical university liberal, and to date haven’t found anything.

    In your case, you seem to imply you are conservative. But, then wonder plaintively why we conservatives do not accept global warming. That is because the planet is actually cooling, and has been doing so for nearly 15 years. Based on the true cause of planetary temperatures, sun activity, there is a chance we are entering a mini-ice age.

    Computer models totally suck. We spent in the end several trillions dollars world wide to eliminate Freon R-12 based on computer models which showed perhaps it was R-12 which was destroying the ozone layer, which actually was not being destroyed at all. As anyone knows who has actually worked with R-12, it is a very heavy substance, and cannot float miles into the sky. And, it is also inert, which means it cannot couple with something lighter to gain buoyancy. Volcanoes do throw up large quantities of chemicals which can also destroy ozone — not that it is being destroyed in any case. The computer model which causes the trillions of dollar outlay somehow neglected to show how R-12 could float up there. It cannot. Yet, we are supposed to accept your lousy computer models which claim we have global warming, and basically destroy the entire economy of the planet. Even as the planet actually cools.

    And, the insults continue even after massive fraud is shown on the part of GW advocates.

    >>the collapse and discrediting of socialism

    Yet, you support socialized medicine, which has not worked effectively any where on the planet. And, will not work in the USA.

    But, your big problem seems to be confusing the RINO’s with the Republicans. Students who do not gain admission to M.D. schools, then apply to D.O. Schools. They have no intention of practicing osteopathy, but they can become a true M.D. with the title of D.O.

    Most presidential candidates for the Republican party political offices are people who couldn’t quite fit into the Democrat label, so they became Republicans with no intention of practicing as a Republican.

    Thus the TEA party. People who want true Republicanism. And, yes, the RINO’s hate them just as much as the Dems do, and for the same reasons.

  34. This is the usual “traditionalists are closet leftists” meme. The predictable result of an American “conservatism” which has sold its soul to libertarianism. Steve Sailer once remarked that only in America is it considered “conservative” to pave over a stretch of wilderness to build a Costco.

  35. Hi JP,

    You deserve a fuller response than I’ve given you.

    Having corrected my post’s wording (sorry again for the confusion!), I have no problem keeping or increasing the tax burden on the rich. Rich people are all fags, at least if the causes they choose to fund are any indication.

    In my previously linked posts, I show why I think anthropogenic global warming is not bad science. It’s not settled science by any means, but I think it unlikely that mankind’s contribution to the late 20th-century warming was negligible. In any case, it’s reckless to just decide that, if we’re not sure how large the effect is, we should assume that it’s small.

    I don’t see how in the world an effort to reduce carbon emissions would need to give governments unlimited power.

    Manned space exploration is a colossal waste of money at this time. I think missions like HST and the Mars rover are doing a good job of keeping the public excited. With Kepler is finding extrasolar planets by the hundreds, including the occasional one in the habitable zone, engaging the public has never been easier. Given my own research interests, I was particularly sorry to see LISA canned, and if NASA ever is awash in money, I think I could make a good case to the public that it would be cooler to detect black hole collisions than put a person back on the moon.

  36. When the electors and the archons are predominantly and surpassingly wise, good, and virtuous, and feel themselves morally constrained by notions of noblesse oblige, then I shall feel more comfortable devolving power to the government. Until that day arrives, I shall support the party that would more strictly limit the power of knaves and fools to ruin my life and take my substance – or those of the various communities of interest to which I hold allegiance, and to which I owe my duty.

    The Republicans are knaves and fools; and they are not conservatives. No argument there. But at the very least they talk and brag of their intention to limit the power of the state, and ipso facto to limit the power of the state to do evil. The Democrats openly talk and brag of their ambition to take all power in society, and to grind down all other institutions, and to impose their wicked notions upon all of us.

    E.g.: Last Friday, national health care announced to all Catholic organizations that they would have to cover their employees for birth control.

    National health care would be great if it was run by Plato’s philosopher kings. But it won’t be. It will be run by – no, wait, it *is* being run by – Dr. Charlton’s bureaucratic pc committees, or death panels as Mrs. Palin calls them. Likewise for all government enterprises, whatsoever.

    I’ll take the hurly burly wickedness of the marketplace, where at least evil is allowed to fail of its own weaknesses and errors.

    Mere liberty is worse than the reign of the righteous. But it is better than the tyranny of the wicked and perverse.

  37. That’s a great line.

  38. I did read what they wrote. On the face of it, there is nothing in the OP to suggest that he wants a different intellectual elite. Maybe you know this from different posts that he has written, but the OP here praises academia as it is rather than as it should be.

    “Don’t worry. They’ll make it easy for you. Maha-Rushie will still tell you what to think. You can go on voting for “The Party of Principle (TM).” The only thing that will be different is that it will, you know, have principles.”

    Thanks for the inane straw man.

    Try reading what I said instead of what you think I said.

  39. Well, Alain de Benoist, the philosopher of the Nouvelle Droit, received the Grand prix de l’essai from the Académie française in 1978, one of the most prestigious academic awards in France.

    The Traditionalist School of René Guénon and Julius Evola is attracting renewed interest in Europe academic circles, particularly in France

  40. I’d like to see a Paul-Santorum ticket, though I realize that it almost certainly won’t happen. Paul could balance out Santorum’s democratic crusaderism, and Santorum could balance out Paul’s Austrian School kookiness.

  41. The meme that traditionalists are closet leftists is stupid. But it exists for a reason. “Conservatives” really are not-so-closeted leftists, but the existence of the stupid meme about traditionalists makes it look like tu quoque to point it out. Sort of like leftists going around calling everyone “intolerant.”

    It’s interesting to wonder what’s going on with Bonald on CAGW, race realism, and now missile defense. Perhaps it is what he says above, that he thinks they are distractions from the important issues we should be paying attention to. Perhaps it is what “Anonymous at 69” is saying, that he has been socialized into these opinions and has not yet gotten around to evaluating them critically. Perhaps it is what I said in an earlier post, that he is, though habit or worry about being eventually unmasked, respecting taboos whose violation he knows carries real consequences, especially for the untenured. My theory, while tempting, has the problem that he has described himself as moderately anti-semitic (in those or almost those words), which would seem to be a third rail as problematic as the others.

  42. To my mind, if we accept “The Man Who Was…”‘s argument from below that we should accept the scientific consensus, that still does not remove us from the burden of weighing the costs and the benefits. If “preventing” global warming comes at the expense of 1mm jobs in the US, is it worth it? (Not saying that we would lose 1mm jobs, but that is the consensus of some in the economic community, which is apparently now a sufficient standard for government action).

    To me, the flip side of the scenario is far more troubling. If global cooling becomes the new scientific bogeyman (as it was in the 1970s, and may perhaps be again tomorrow), does that mandate that we need to pump as much CO2 into the atmosphere as possible, consequences be damned? Or are we only allowed to use the force of law to reduce temperatures, and not to increase them?

  43. If global cooling becomes the new scientific bogeyman (as it was in the 1970s, and may perhaps be again tomorrow), does that mandate that we need to pump as much CO2 into the atmosphere as possible,

    For now, the alarmists are explaining the embarrassing failure of temperatures to rise on Chinese particulate emissions (particulate emissions are a favorite post hoc theory fix). Has this caused them to become big fans of particulate emissions? We could raise particulate emissions at negative cost, after all.

    No, one of the ways you can see that they are not serious is that only logical consequences of their “science” which they prefer on other grounds get to count as real consequences of their “science.”

  44. For the doubters who claim that a subset of the elite cannot be led away from leftist ideas, keep in mind that this has been done before on numerous occasions: by Maurras and the Action Francaise, by the Italian Nationalists, by the Conservative Revolutionaries in Weimar, even Franco had widespread support among Spanish elites.

    What matters most is presentation and this is where Anglo-Americans often fail. Anglo-American Conservatives have always been “the Stupid Party”…and proud of it! This is not an approach designed to attract the best and the brightest. Conversely, the Action Francaise called themselves “the Party of Intelligence” and even many of their opponents were forced to concede that was largely the case. If you had asked French students and professors who were the most influential intellectuals from the years 1900-1940, they would have answered Maurras and Barrès.

    It should be obvious that to convert intelligent people to your cause, you need to exude intelligence yourself. Likewise, people need to see a movement that possesses a vision and creativity and dynamism rather than a bunch of lifeless malcontents. Conspiracy theories need to be junked. Knee-jerk anti-intellectualism needs to be marginalized, though nuanced critiques of specific intellectuals or tendencies among them are fine. All of this is related to presentation. Of course, the ideas do need some actual substance behind them, which would exclude most Neocon garbage. 🙂

  45. Alain de Benoist also had a column in Le Figaro, which is like the French equivalent of the Wall Street Journal in terms of its readership. The Nouvelle Droite has numerous journals linked to it, such as Nouvelle Ecole and Elements, which are aimed toward an educated elite and has attracted many talented names over the years, such as Jean Cau and Louis Rougier.

    The Neue Rechte in Germany is younger, but has likewise achieved success in a short amount of time. Botho Strauß, one of the most acclaimed contemporary avant-garde playwrights, wrote a famous article in the 1990s where he declared his allegiance to the political right, and has made contributions to Junge Freiheit, one of the Neue Rechte organs.

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