The Corner

Re: They’re Neocons Now

An e-friend responds to Beinart:

Traditional conservatives, of course, said the same thing. But traditional conservatives were as immodest about the redemptive power of capitalism as liberals were about the redemptive power of government. What distinguished the early neocons was their skepticism about both. 

What?  Beinart surely knows better than this.  The redemptive power of capitalism?  Since when were Kirk, Weaver, et al preaching the redemptive power of capitalism?    Supply siders can certainly be accused of this, but traditionalists?  Please.

Me: This is a fair point, but I think the problem is that there are a lot of people who were once “new conservatives” we now call “traditional conservatives.” And it is difficult to speak about these various branches without conflating different people or their thought and  losing some nuance in the process. Also, I think it is fair to say that Buckley, Meyer and other pioneers of the modern conservative movement were full-throated champions of free-enterprise (and Buckley still is). Whether they thought it had “redemptive power” is another issue. I doubt that Buckley would have objected to Irving Kristol’s slogan “two cheers for capitalism,” for example.

Most Popular


Stand Up to Putin

President Putin’s landslide victory in Russia’s presidential election was achieved against the lackluster competition of a group of mediocre candidates from which the sole serious opponent had been excluded; amid plausible allegations that his security services had tried to poison two Russians in England by ... Read More
National Review

NRI Coming to California

We continue to commemorate the Buckley Legacy, bringing the gang of exceptional writers to the Golden State to discuss WFB’s profound consequence, and critical issues such as immigration and free speech. It’s all part of NRI’s coast-to-coast Celebration of the Life and Legacy of the Founder of the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

‘We Will Reduce Abortion’

Conor Lamb’s success has revived interest in “I’m personally opposed, but.” It’s a rhetorical convention — a cliché, really — that many Catholic Democrats have resorted to ever since Mario Cuomo popularized it with his speech at Notre Dame in 1984, as Alexandra DeSanctis explained a few days ... Read More