Posted by Curt on 11 September, 2016 at 5:00 am. 1 comment.


Robert Zubrin:

Speaking August 25 in Reno, Nevada, Democratic candidate for president Hillary Clinton accused her Republican opponent Donald Trump of having knowingly rallied a mob drawn from the shadowy “alt-right” to his banner. Furthermore, she said that by appointing alt-right spokesman Steve Bannon as his campaign chairman, Trump was effecting an unholy merger between that malevolent movement and the Republican Party.

These incendiary charges provoked cries of foul play and accusations of name-calling from Trump supporters. Unfortunately, as many conservatives supporting other candidates in the GOP primaries—anti-Trump writers and editors, and members of the Never Trump and FreeThe Delegates movement—who faced violent abuse and death threats from Trumpists know from first-hand experience, everything she said was entirely true.

Indeed, her statements were more true than she, an outsider to the Republican process, could possibly know. As conservative writer Claire Berlinski recently pointed out, it is a tragedy and a disgrace that someone like Paul Ryan did not give her speech some time ago, so the catastrophe underway might have been averted.

The conservative movement should have rejected the alt-right long ago, because the alt-right is not, properly speaking, really part of what deserved to be considered “the Right.” It is not part of the free-enterprise Right, or the Christian Right, or the national security Right. Rather, it is part of what some might call the nativist Right.

But is nativism truly an American conservative ideology? Our nation was founded on the proposition that all men are created equal, with inalienable rights granted by no less authority than God. How can a movement that explicitly denies that creed be considered conservative? And if the alt-right isn’t conservative, then what is it?

Let’s Find Out

A bit of political science is in order. In his classic 1944 work, “The Road to Serfdom,” Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek, then living in exile in England, shocked readers with his diagnosis of Nazism. National Socialism, he argued, was not the opposite of social democracy (many of whose adherents could be found fighting in the ranks of the Allies), but its evolutionary extension.

All Hitler had done, said Hayek, was to grasp that racism is required for socialism, because to mobilize the passion necessary to achieve the full collectivist agenda, it is necessary to invoke the tribal instinct. Thus, contrary to Marx, the ultimate development of socialism is not stateless international brotherhood, but various forms of rabid tribal nationalism.

Trump has confounded many analysts with his peculiar combination of political positions. While claiming to be a conservative, Trump has nevertheless advocated extreme statism. For example, Trump has said health care and education are two of the three primary responsibilities of the federal government. He is a practitioner and advocate of eminent domain, a system that enriches insiders who can arrange for government action to dispossess ordinary Americans of their homes if that should be required to reap the oligarch’s profit.

Trump is also radical trade protectionist who would destroy the global economic foundation of American prosperity since World War II in order to impose a system enriching insiders who can arrange for government action to block foreign competition. If that were not enough, Trump has stated his intention to implement laws that would facilitate government officials suing critics, thereby chilling the freedom of the press that has been fundamental to American liberty since colonial times.

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