Weyrich letter

Wojtek Sokolowski sokol at jhu.edu
Tue Aug 8 13:39:18 PDT 2000

At 02:47 PM 8/8/00 -0400, Charles Brown wrote:
>But there is an opposite thrust in late 20th Century conservatism in the
Spiro Agnew/Reganite bashing of the nattering nabobs of negativism or whatever , no ? Wasn't a key element of conservative revival that America is and is doing great , contra its radical and "liberal" critics ?
>Certainly an essential element, definitional even, of conservatism is
staving off social and economic change. though.

I think there is a diffrence between right wing / fascist mindset and a general pro-state conservatism. Every state administration is naturally conservative in the second sense - they like the status quo as long as they hold power, and thye dislike the malcontents whop undermine their rule. Reagan administration was no different from any other administration in the world - the administrations of socialist states thought things were going splendidly under their rule, and they disliked the nay-sayers as well.

The right-wing mind set is something different -it is based on a rigid ingroup-outgroup distinction, fear of - and hostility toward outgroups, and the uncritical acceptance of the conventional ingroup norms. It is more of a populist ethnocentrism than a state ideology per se, although it may be exploited by pro-state conservatives for publicity reasons.

For example Rubestein (_The Cunning of History_) argues that Kristallnacht was an outburst of right wing populism rather than pro-nazi-state conservatism. He aregues that although the goals of these two conservatisms coincided in that case, right wing populism, which is a movement "from below," is fundamentally anithetical to pro-state conservatism which emphasizes the "control from above."


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