Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Endgame - Well Worth Reading


Conservatives after the Cold War Corey Robin

" In 2000 I spent the better part of a late summer interviewing William F. Buckley and Irving Kristol. I was writing an article on the defections to the Left of several younger right-wing intellectuals and wanted to hear what the movement's founding fathers thought of their wayward sons. Over the course of our conversations, however, it became clear that Buckley and Kristol were less interested in these ex-conservatives than they were in the sorry state of the conservative movement and the uncertain fate of the United States as a global imperial power.

The end of communism and the triumph of the free market, they suggested, were mixed blessings. Although these developments were victories for the conservative movement, they had rendered the United States ill-equipped for the post-Cold War era. Americans now possessed the most powerful empire in history. At the same time, they were possessed by one of the most anti-political ideologies in history: the free market. According to its aggressive idealists, the free market is a harmonious order, promising an international civil society of voluntary exchange, requiring little more from the state than the occasional enforcement of laws and contracts. For Buckley and Kristol, this was too bloodless a notion upon which to found a national order, much less a global empire. It did not provide the gravitas and élan that the exercise of American power required at home and abroad. It promoted self-interest over the national interest, not the most promising base from which to launch an empire. What's more, the right-wingers in charge of the Republican Party didn't seem to realize this. "

First a quibble there's nothing even slightly "conservative" about these guys they're radical right-wing militarists not conservatives. The full article can be found here - it's well worth your while taking the time to read it.


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