I’m not sure I agree a hundred percent with this, but I thought it was interesting, from a reader:
I think I have explanation for why some like Tyler continue to find arguments
for Fascism being on the Right. You write in reply, “Traditionalism as well as
Classical Liberalism […] comprise the bulk of what define modern
I think these two things are different poles on a three dimensional axis of
political and ideological thought. I would argue that three founding principles
are equity, freedom, and tradition, and that each is the heart of socialism,
liberalism, and conservatism respectively. In America, we are all liberals (and
here we may have to say Classical Liberal, because of some curious redefinitions
of “liberalism” in the 20th century) to some extent. Our socialists are social
democrats, and our conservatives are liberal-conservative hybrids. Burke, after
all was a Whig who favored American independence while opposing the French
Revolution. His notions of freedom tempered by tradition do define the
Anglo-American conservative, but there are plenty of conservatives who lack the
admixture of liberalism, such as Metternich, or whose use of liberalism was a
cynical ploy to triangulate, such as Bismark.
The closest to strait conservatism in America is probably Patrick Buchanan.
America is a society where liberal-conservatives battle liberal-socialists. It
makes our ability to read the ideologies in their pure form challenging. That is
why it is useful to keep in mind the core idea of each: equality, freedom, and
A final note, people near any one of the poles tend to view the other two poles
as mostly the same thing. So a liberal would see both conservatives and
socialists as fundamentally illiberal, while a socialist sees both liberals and
conservatives as right wing, and conservatives see the others as left wing.