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The American Right’s civil war They agree on nothing except being anti-woke

Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images


November 6, 2021   8 mins

“We can’t stop here, this is bat country.”

I didn’t expect excitable millennials to quote Hunter S. Thompson at me, at a conservative event. But at the National Conservatism II conference in Orlando last week, Fear And Loathging In Las Vegas was everywhere: the mood the night before kickoff had that exact sense of giddy incipient lunacy.

For my adult life, being both young and a conservative has been deeply, irretrievably cringe. Not so here, where the modal attendee was a bearded, trim, often tattooed male Hunter S. Thompson fan, under the age of 25. NatCon II was where Conservatism Inc. met Conservatism Ink.

The Conservatism Ink guys sported blue blazers and Richard Spencer haircuts. They made the bar noisy and excitable, added youth and buzz to events — and were notably absent from the centrepiece panel, in which the event’s organisers attempted to craft a ‘new fusionism’.

Here, conference organiser and Burke Foundation chairman Yoram Hazony took to the stage alongside the Catholic integralist writer Sohrab Ahmari, whose 2019 article ‘Against David French-Ism’ saw the first full-scale battle within the American Right, between the liberals and the then still emerging ‘post-liberal’ strand.

For Ahmari, David French epitomised a Right-liberal thinking that conceded too much territory. By accepting the liberal idea that moral values should be kept out of the public square, the argument goes, conservatism merely becomes a strategy for losing more slowly. Instead, Ahmari states that the Right should aim for “defeating the enemy and enjoying the spoils in the form of a public square re-ordered to the common good and ultimately the Highest Good”.

It’s hard to see, though, how this stance can easily be made to square particularly with Ahmari’s co-panellists Dave Rubin, a noted libertarian, and Douglas Murray, the ne plus ultra of anti-woke right-liberalism.

For me, this event encapsulated the NatCon’s quandary: what kind of alliance, if any, is possible between liberals and post-liberals? And, crucially, ordered to which values? Everyone on the panel was unenthusiastic about wokeness, at pains to stress that they weren’t rabid authoritarians, and seemingly unsure about how to resolve the question of how state power could align with moral values, without treading on at least some of their friends’ toes.

Hazony argued that America could and should re-Christianise its public square, and simply manage some kind of ‘carve-out’ for groups such as gay people and orthodox Jews. Murray, meanwhile, argued that the Church only had itself to blame for mass secularisation. (He didn’t quite say they were all nonces but it was heavily implied.) Ahmari, perhaps the lone post-liberal on the stage, was surprisingly conciliatory.

Afterwards, Conservatism Inc. raved about the discussion. At the bar, though, where they were ignoring the whole event, the Conservatism Ink bros were less sure. They drank bourbon and muttered that with anti-woke liberals such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali on-board, nothing would ever change. Too big a tent means a lack of focus. 

It wasn’t just the Gen-Z raw-eggs-and-dank-memes boys. “I was into this before it was cool” is the abiding cry of hipsters the world over, and it was (more or less explicitly) everywhere over the three days of conference. But if the the purists of NatCon I were complaining about liberal entryism, this isn’t just about new money coming into the movement. It’s also an effect of how radically the political backdrop has changed since 2019.

Between Brexit/Trump in 2016 and the pandemic in 2020, there was a widespread feeling that something new was needed to replace the technocratic ‘double liberal’ consensus. And indeed, since then something new has emerged, in the wake of Covid-19. It’s just not what was envisaged.

Back in 2019, people were dreaming about ordering Western state power to a more substantive moral programme than that of empty individual freedom and consumerism; a new, human-scale politics of meaning and necessary limits.

And behold, the pandemic state of emergency did indeed shatter the consensus about individual freedom. Across the developed world, the liberal privileging of individual freedom has been replaced by a de facto acceptance that state power absolutely must be ordered to the common good, up to and including coercive measures where necessary. In other words: all politics is now post-liberal. 

But inasmuch as we have achieved consensus on what ‘the common good’ means, it doesn’t extend much beyond ‘public health’, understood in bare terms as the preservation of physical life: lockdowns, masks, vaccinations and so on. The new Western normal is one of authoritarian regimes now visibly reluctant to relinquish their grip on a state of emergency.

But these regimes are more, not less, technocratic — and there’s been no new politics of meaning. Instead, the last year and a half have felt like a relentless assault on everything that makes us human: interpersonal bonds, organic social organisations, in-person contact.

This situation has confused the hell out of the loosely post-liberal caucus who made up the intellectual backbone of NatCon I in 2019. It aimed to revive a more substantial nationalism capable of incorporating realist foreign policy; industrial policy; patriotism beyond divisive racial politics. There was a Republican in the White House; I’m told policy debates were detailed and impassioned. You never knew what might trickle up to actual centres of power. 

And the liberal mainstream was sincerely shocked by their suggestion that maybe state power and moral values should be aligned. Now, though, there’s no longer any need to make that case: in response to the pandemic, states across the West have enthusiastically seized power.

The pre-pandemic post-lib pipe-dream was of a revived human-scale politics of meaning, to challenge the bloodless grip of technocracy and its mantra of never-ending progress. Post-liberals were happy to talk about limits and state power as means of pursuing such a politics of meaning. Now, plot twist: existing post-liberalism has ordered state power to a set of moral values that 2019’s national conservatives really don’t like.

So the ‘state power’ bit is settled in principle. (Though for conservatives under Biden, the question of how to obtain it for themselves is both open and, they’d argue, urgent.) The ‘moral values’ bit is a bitter battlefield — even within the national conservative caucus.

With that in mind, it was perhaps inevitable that the programme trended negative: toward focusing on what we can all agree we don’t want. Along with Hazony’s sincere but inconclusive panel effort at shaping a ‘new fusionism’, this meant plenty of speakers whose primary argument was not for anything particular so much as against wokeness. Playing conference bingo with a friend, we were obliged to delete ‘cultural Marxism’ from our cards a few hours in because it came up too often. 

To my eye the most interesting attendees were those who sought to address the how of power, or the what of values — without simply relapsing into complaints about wokeness. Informally, perhaps the neo-reactionary Curtis Yarvin (also known as Mencius Moldbug) qualifies here. He ran a kind of three-day mobile conference plenary, in which (seemingly without ever needing to draw breath) he addressed a little flock of the Conservatism Ink bros who followed him like ducklings.

Elsewhere, New Founding’s Matt Peterson outlined a plan for a commercial and cultural startup, aimed at propagating a positive lifestyle vision for the American Right. It was a for-profit entrepreneurial approach to moral renewal that felt both very American and somewhat baffling to a Bongland ex-Lefty.

More intelligible from my perspective was the session on ‘Worker Power’. Here, Oren Cass of American Compass joined Brian Dijkema of Cardus and Sean McGarvey of NABTU to discuss the sometimes vexed relationship between conservatism and trade unions. There’s been a lot of noise from the American Right about how the Republicans are now a multi-ethnic, working-class party, and Marco Rubio did endorse Amazon unionisation efforts in Alabama back in March. 

Even so, the souvenir conference mugs were, somewhat ironically, made in China; and attendance at the ‘Worker Power’ session was sparse. This spoke to one of the conference’s real tensions: what relation does this would-be counter-elite actually have to the masses? One approach to this question came from Hungary’s soft-power outreach team, who were present in force at NatCon. Balázs Orbán, Minister of State to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s office (no relation), gave a presentation that positioned Hungary as a successful model for actually existing national conservatism.

Orbán boasted of Hungarian growth, lack of anti-semitic violence, church and synagogue renovation and improving birth rates. These, he argued, demonstrate that national conservatism with Hungarian characteristics is not, as Western liberals like to claim, a totalitarian dictatorship but in fact a popular regime that’s delivering what the Hungarian people want and need.

Whether you nod along with this framing of Fidesz probably depends on your political commitments. But from this perspective, an elite whose values are aligned with those of the masses can use authority to implement those values responsibly throughout the regime. What’s unclear, though, even among sympathetic conservatives, is how applicable the Orbánist model might be in the West — and particularly in America. 

It’s relatively easy for a reigning elite to align values to state power in a homogeneous nation of 10 million people. It’s far from obvious how this might be achieved in a deliberately decentralised, pluralistic nation of 300 million people, with a highly individualistic founding ideology that’s constitutionally allergic to state-mandated values.

Chris Rufo’s Leninist strategy for ‘counterrevolution’, which I’ve discussed here, offered part of the answer, in the playbook he proposed for getting American conservatives to win the culture wars. In Rufo’s view, the aim of such a counter-elite should be galvanising and providing language and representation for a mass that Rufo sees as subjected to the top-down imposition of alien values by a narcissistic, nihilistic Left-authoritarian state. 

Meanwhile, the writer Mary Eberstadt looked straight past Conservatism Inc., instead making a heartfelt address to Conservatism Ink in the name of shared values as such. She argued that the young have been robbed by ‘zero-sum progressivism’ of everything that gives life a ‘higher purpose’: family connections, faith, belonging, a cultural patrimony.

Taken together, Rufo’s right-Leninism and Eberstadt’s empathetic politics of meaningful relationships felt like the public and private facets of this movement’s better part. Eberstadt brought a deeply matriarchal quality to proceedings. 

She’s emerging as a compassionate figure in a sometimes dour or combative 21st-century American conservatism, and I hope her voice continues to be heard — especially by the Conservatism Inkers her talk addressed. After all, Rufo’s Right-Leninist vanguardism in the name of shared conservative values will make little sense if it’s pursued in the name of a people who don’t actually have any shared values.

But if Rufo and Eberstadt together comprise top-down and bottom-up facets of something approaching a workable, effective and ethically-grounded conservatism, there are plenty of other visions for where this version of the right goes next: Thielite space fascism, Bitcoin exitism, libertarian anti-wokeism, hard-edged nationalism, doctrinaire Catholic integralism or simply reabsorption by the neocon blob. 

It’s a heady and at many points self-contradictory brew, in which the central question — whose values? — remains undecided, a dilemma that will either prove the movement’s greatest strength or weakness.

After three days in bat country, I stumbled to bed on the last night past a swarm of Conservatism Ink chanting ‘Let’s Go, Brandon’ in the hotel bar. I left with an abiding sense that national conservatism has money behind it, but also plenty of punk energy and belligerence.

As ever, money will play a huge part in what happens next. And there are plenty of boomercons with fat chequebooks, who would like to see room on the ark for at least ‘our’ kind of liberal. In particular, as far as the neocons are concerned, it’s noteworthy that there’s been some debate over whether foreign-policy realists were well enough represented on the roster — especially given how central debates over US military obligations have been to shifts on the Right since Trump.

There are probably plenty as well who would like to see the more punk end of this movement defanged, and Conservatism Ink toned right down. Meanwhile, the Gen-Z right-wingers now flocking to this corner of politics have altogether wilder and stranger ideas, that often owe more to the fringes of the Weird Online Right than the Founding Fathers. And they’re the ones with the energy: they still got up at 6am to lift. Even after all that bourbon. 

Who will win? My best guess is that in the short term we’ll see this movement re-absorbed by the DC blob. Then there’ll be full-scale revolt by Conservatism Ink when they are, in aggregate, old enough to wield power. And then we really will be in bat country.


Mary Harrington is a contributing editor at UnHerd.

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J Bryant
J Bryant
2 years ago

Interesting summary of Nat Con II. I’m not surprised the participants struggled to come up with a new conservative ideology to deal with our current reality. Things have changed so fast in the last year it will take time for the right to synthesize a new version of conservatism.
I’m not sure that matters, though. Events like Nat Con II attract the chattering class, the bloggers, authors, think tankers, and political science professors. But the recent result in Virginia (and razor thin victory by the Democratic governor of New Jersey which is traditionally deep blue country) suggest all the conservatives have to do, for now, is be the party of common sense, of normality.
The conservative platform can be built around advocating for an educational system that teaches substantive skills, not political indoctrination, a respect for the individual not tied to race or gender, an acknowledgment that biological gender is real, and a scaling back of the recent intrusion of government into private lives. Most Americans don’t like the cornerstones of the Democratic agenda and ideology. Biden is only president because enough people tired of Trump’s antics, not because they approve of Biden.
Conservatives have plenty of ammunition with bread-and-butter issues to win elections. The theorizing can catch up in due course.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Absolutely true – a potential open goal in 2024, which they may well miss by putting Trump forward as the candidate

Dawn McD
Dawn McD
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

As someone freshly exited from the Democratic party just this year, I know for certain that, even though I won’t vote for any Democratic candidate, I also won’t vote for Trump. I can’t stand that guy. If he’s the candidate, I’ll either just abstain from the presidential vote on my ballot or vote for the libertarian. If the election was today, and it was DeSantis vs. Harris, DeSantis would win in a landslide.
Currently, sitting in Oregon and not going anywhere except work and grocery store because of our blue state mask mandates, I envy all the people living in free states like Florida and Texas. My world view has been forever changed in the last year and a half, in the way that people who lived through the Great Depression or a world war were never again the same people they had been before.
It’s early days for me, and I don’t know where I’ll end up. Will I be a Republican? It’s interesting to me that someone like Dave Rubin could stand on the same stage, smiling and shaking hands, with a man who opposes Rubin’s right to be married to his husband. If I have to choose between those two, I know I’m going with Rubin, whatever political label that turns out to be.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Dawn McD

Rubin shakes hands because he looks at big picture and believes in free speech and debating issues to resolve disagreements. You won’t get that from the radical left – who seem to be representing and dominating the entire left.

Lillian Fry
Lillian Fry
2 years ago
Reply to  Dawn McD

Many have made this journey. Take the time to transition.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Conservatives greatest strength has traditionally been that they’ve never been too wedded to a particular ideology. They’ve been able to sideline the more extreme elements of the right, and everybody else comes to a kind of muddled acceptance on a vague direction, with dissenting voices tolerated as long as they’re not causing too many problems.
The left have always had the opposite problem, they tend to stick much more rigidly to an idea with their supporters expected to agree with every minor detail. When this invariably doesn’t happen they end up with a civil war and breaking down into ever smaller ideally pure factions, which in the UK anyway has never been particularly successful electorally.
Therefore I don’t believe this group currently on the right do need an overarching ideal, denouncing the more ridiculous ideas pushed by progressives while leaving everything else on the back burner is probably enough to cause their opponents serious problems at the next set of elections

Claire D
Claire D
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I agree, I don’t trust high political ideals of any colour. If Government do what has to be done to keep the country running smoothly, are as ethical as humanly possible and rectify errors swiftly, I think that is all most people want most of the time.

Last edited 2 years ago by Claire D
Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I agree with Billy Bob!!

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

I think there is a need for an idea; the need to promote the rights of the individual over the rights of the group.

This is solid ground for disputes with the left

Ferrusian Gambit
Ferrusian Gambit
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Unfortunately people like Mary are ex-leftists who bring the left’s obsession with politicising everything with them because they have never had a real job living in the real world. Most normal people just want a decent life, opportunities and a sense the system is at least mostly just.

Oliver McCarthy
Oliver McCarthy
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Yes, though I’m not convinced by the anti-Trump claim. Trump was more popular when he lost than when he won. Even leaving conspiracy theories to one side, it’s hard to imagine Biden winning without Covid.

Peter Stephenson
Peter Stephenson
2 years ago

i really value mary harrington’s analysis, judgments and insights but – i hope you are reading this mary – there is a bit too much clever journalist jargon framed for an audience which uses language in ways similar to the way she uses it. this might be because i am old and not in the know when it comes to youthful parole. however, good writing need not be audience-compartmentalised in the way that aspects of the style of this piece is.

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago

I’m glad you said that. I thought I might have been the only one thinking she wrote that piece after a few too many bourbons herself.

Jane Watson
Jane Watson
2 years ago
Reply to  Warren T

I really try to engage with Mary’s writing because people respond so positively, but my brain glazes over 3 paras in. Brilliant and original maybe, but so dense I can’t decipher meaning. I expect this when I’m trying to get my head round hard science or economics, but not opinion pieces (where communication is everything). Glad it’s not just me, and sorry to be negative, but it would be interesting to know how many readers got through this and understood all the references.

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
2 years ago
Reply to  Jane Watson

I certainly get the Hunter S Thompson reference.
Buy a copy of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. It’s different: Brash, profane, hilarious and different. Enjoy with a bottle or two of red wine.
It confirmed my twin feelings that the US is an alien society that should be restrained behind locked gates, and that the Atlantic is not wide enough.

Last edited 2 years ago by Terry Needham
Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

And they don’t understand cricket!

Terry Needham
Terry Needham
2 years ago

And they cannot play rugby without wearing armour plating.

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
2 years ago
Reply to  Terry Needham

I’ve seen cricket being played next door in Toronto. The players were all black, so I guess they came from the Caribbean.

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
2 years ago
Reply to  Jane Watson

I occasionally have to highlight x / right click ‘search the web for x ‘/ to get an explanation of x. That seemed to be all I did throughout this piece.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 years ago

I am not much into US politics so much of the author’s references went over my head and left me uncertain as to the aim of her piece. Like you I felt her writing was excessively styled.
Nikki Haley set out a much more easily grasped conservative approach in her Margaret Thatcher Freedom Lecture to the Heritage Foundation last week. Some of it is reproduced in today’s Telegraph. Of Socialism she has this to say:
“This sad world view is already holding America back. Our students are being taught, as young as kindergarten, that hard work doesn’t matter. Or worse, that America is racist. And worst of all, our fellow citizens are being told they’re victims with no control over their own lives and destinies. I can’t imagine a more dangerous way of thinking. It says to a single mother, give up, and let welfare take care of you. It says to a laid-off worker, don’t try, we’ll pay you to stay home. It says to a student, don’t strive or learn, you can’t get ahead because the country is rigged. And it says to all of us, don’t bother to dream – government’s got this. That’s the greatest tragedy of all. We can add up socialism’s cost in dollars and cents. But we will never know its human cost.”
The full lecture is well worth a read. All conservatives need to do is to consistently and clearly articulate the values that created the prosperity and individual freedoms of the West and push back against the totalitarian collectivist and racist rhetoric of the left. The clarity of speech of Thomas Sowell is what is needed to counter the obscurantist writings of Judith Butler and all the other woke warriors that seek to confuse by distorting language to impose fascist state control in the name of social justice.

Last edited 2 years ago by Jeremy Bray
J Bryant
J Bryant
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Great post and thanks for the heads up about Haley’s lecture at the Heritage Foundation (it’s now on line if anyone is interested).

William Hickey
William Hickey
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

That’s all, eh? Just articulate the liberal values and push back against the racism.

I guess I didn’t live through the past 60 years and the careers of Reagan and Buckley.

If the things you say don’t seem to agree with reality, check your premises.

Emre Emre
Emre Emre
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

Here’s the problem on this. Socialism can indeed do a lot of harm when it’s not coupled with empowering individuals to succeed. But that socialism has failures doesn’t mean there’s no racism in America. Democrats are able to harness that issue successfully because there’s a problem there, and it’s not entirely an imagined victim myth. Either Republicans/conservatives will come out in recognition and rejection of racism, or Democrats/progressives will come out in support of sanity. If non of these happen, things will continue to get worse.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Emre Emre

Do you honestly think conservatives are automatically racist? Huh?

Emre Emre
Emre Emre
2 years ago

There’s been a lot of progress on this globally, and I believe UK in particular has done a lot, as well as being a quite tolerant country in the first place. Having said that, I hold this opinion because I believe members of minorities (being one), when they say they’ve been subjected to racism.

Last edited 2 years ago by Emre Emre
Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
2 years ago
Reply to  Emre Emre

As I indicated in my post I don’t claim much expertise in US politics. However, the long list of prominent African- American Republicans published in Wikipedia suggests the Republican Party does appear to have rejected racism whatever views individual Republican supporters might hold.
I appreciate that unlike the UK numerous US states had apartheid type legislation in place until the 1960s and there may well be lingering pockets of belief in this system.
However, both Republican and Democratic parties should be rejecting wholesale such antique 18th century race classifications and embracing the new scientific consensus that there is only one race of Homosapiens who emerged at different times from Africa and that differences in the amount of melatonin in the skin has no important bearing on any other human quality.
Instead the Democratic Party appear to be trying to reconstruct a socially based race theory and fermenting racial conflict to reverse the increasing irrelevance of race based conflict within the US.
Unfortunately these undesirable racist theories are now being introduced to the UK that has never had a US type apartheid policy.
.

Last edited 2 years ago by Jeremy Bray
Emre Emre
Emre Emre
2 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

My experience of US politics is also as an external observer – of course leaving aside all kinds of US connections one tends to have. But I’ve formed the opinion that it’s impossible to understand the life in UK, or anywhere else for that matter, without understanding what’s going in US – hence the interest out of necessity.
That out of the way, I’ll make a similar observation to my earlier point. That the Democrats have started to take a counter-productive view on some race issues that’s doing more harm than good these days, doesn’t mean the best way to deal with race today is to not talk about it.
Yes, nonsense talk about “cultural appropriation” is a luxury belief/status symbol. But if, say, American black people have on average 1/10 of the wealth of equivalent white families, or they are saying they are scared of interacting with the police; we can’t all pretend all is well either.

Richard Pearse
Richard Pearse
2 years ago

Boil away the fat (and putting stylistic concerns to the side), this is simply (unqualified as the Big “A” would say of virtue) a brilliant article by an original thinker.

Mary is somehow able to see the parts and the whole of a complex political/ movement and weave back and forth to give a truly objective take on the percolating sub and grand currents of a real movement.

I don’t like the phrase “post-liberal” to describe the likes of Matt Peterson (really of the Claremont review crowd), but the idea is that the fanciful “autonomous self” of Locke and Hobbes does not explain human nature (and there IS a human nature), and the knee-jerk removal of teleology in morals (since Bacon) has goofed-up what Aristotle/Aquinas bequeathed us, and led to knee-jerk radical libertarianism as the steady state for small “c” conservatism in many quarters (see Alasdair MacIntyre and Harry Jaffa)

A brilliant article by a truly original mind.

Last edited 2 years ago by Richard Pearse
Fred Bloggs
Fred Bloggs
2 years ago

I thought the article was very perceptive, quite clearly written, and wryly humorous in many of its observations. I feel much the wiser for having read it. Great writing.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

I too found this piece Very Hard Work.

Ian Cooper
Ian Cooper
2 years ago

Referring to Douglas Murray as ‘grande dame’ is a bit cheap. Surprised. MH.

JP Martin
JP Martin
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Cooper

I don’t know much about him but just based on his writing he’s twice the man of several who come to mind.

Last edited 2 years ago by JP Martin
Claire D
Claire D
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Cooper

I wonder if there has been a falling out of some kind, Douglas seems to have been completely removed as an official UnHerd writer, despite one of his articles appearing not so long ago. If so, he’ll be missed.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

Yes his picture was removed from the people writing for Unherd. If he remains mostly ‘out’ I think Unherd will lose subscriptions.

Last edited 2 years ago by Lesley van Reenen
Claire D
Claire D
2 years ago

Just found him (!) using the Writers and Columnists link at the bottom of the page, so I hope I was mistaken and all is well.

Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
2 years ago

Amen to that.

David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago
Reply to  Claire D

I assume his critique of Islam is not to be herd? We can have endless Julie Bindel though.

Dustshoe Richinrut
Dustshoe Richinrut
2 years ago

If people felt free to give their own opinions on matters without being told to shut up or else, then that tolerance in a truly free society would most decidedly help to build up common sense as well as a moral society. Recent referenda on emotive issues or on an individual issue, in Western societies, over the last ten years have in many ways been presented, especially by the media and celebrities, as a fait accompli for the liberal or ultra-liberal agenda: a fig-leaf signing-off on setting in motion “the future”. So much so that folk who disagreed with their agenda could only keep their head down or murmur their objection at best.

Now that the pre-internet-era experience of endless summer days have gone from busy, tiny-screen-obsessed people’s minds, anything resembling a stumbling block to the progress of the woke and the progressive, erected by some spoilsport, as it were, has said spoilsport harangued to the high heavens. The upshot of this power is that the new and sensible parents of today may well be suddenly extremely concerned to see that in that restrictive, censorious environment that has rapidly emerged, a future in which their child might end up hating their elderly grandparents for their old-fashioned ways (even though grandma wore mini-skirts in the 60 or 70s, say) is definitely on the cards. One has only to look into what happened to families during the Cultural Revolution in China in the 1960s to see how things might veer so. The stark realisation of the power of identity politics must have at last worried good folk in Virginia, in the recent wee election there.

Moreover, here we are, in the technology age, glum as get-out. People are fed up with being fed-up. They know they should be happy. (It has been a sorrowful sight to see only glumness in the faces of Americans over the last year or two). They, good and sensible folk, don’t want to see a future in which their values are given second-class status at best, denounced as evil at worst. Even folk who have gone along somewhat with the liberal agenda and “owned up”, as it were, remember the times as a kid having owned up to this or that misdemeanour and still getting a hug. They don’t see a hug forthcoming now – and do they not like that!

Last edited 2 years ago by Dustshoe Richinrut
Mikey Mike
Mikey Mike
2 years ago

The reason most young people representing conservatism – going back at least to the Nixon resignation – were cringey, uninteresting sloths is because only conservatives willing to identify themselves as conservatives were identified. Conservatism is the new homosexuality among high school and college students. Most of those thus afflicted – whether through heredity, childhood trauma, or personal choice – have mastered the art of concealing their true selves in favor of appearing just as unthinking and desperate for affirmation as their neighbors. All the really cool, smart conservative kids are hiding in the shadows pretending to be something they are not.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago

Well, for what it’s worth, I agree with Douglas Murray on the Church, as I do on most things. As a gay man, he has the freedom to say things straight people can’t, but I’m not sure even he is fully grasping the nature of the problem. Certainly, the Catholic Church at least is being utterly destroyed by gay men, and I mean absolutely smashed into the dirt. The child abuse scandals are only the beginning of it, and the full story is far too long to go into in a short post from a smart phone but consider the implications of this one detail. According to the John Jay report, 80% of abuse in the American Church was against boys, not girls.

Last edited 2 years ago by Francis MacGabhann
Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago

The problem is not that they’re gay, it’s that they’re pedeophiles.

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
2 years ago

They are 80% homosexual paedophiles.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

I think statistically most abuse carried out on the very young (0-11) is on boys, whereas most abuse carried out on older victims (12-16) is on girls.

Andrew D
Andrew D
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Not true. Most victims are male and aged between 11 and 17. The perpetrators are in the main homosexual ephebophiles.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago

The pedophile problem, as I have said, is only the beginning of it.

Karl Schuldes
Karl Schuldes
2 years ago

How many of the priests’ victims were female?

Tim Bartlett
Tim Bartlett
2 years ago

When I’m driving a forklift in the sleet I care about all this as much as I do the lunatic ravings of the left. If ‘The Right’ just concentrated on filling potholes and running natural monopolies for the public good we could all just get on with our lives.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
2 years ago

Very interesting report of the flux on the American right, which I had very little visibility of. It raises a background hum of large overarching questions, about the search, in the 21st century, for ‘meaning’, framed in the article as ‘moral values’, to bind societies together, so they can function without descending into self-centered chaos. To me, the endpoint of such a search raises some potentially distasteful (to some) possibilities. Let me just outline a couple of thoughts for debate:

– the first question is, if a state driven ‘moral values’ framework can ever not eventually slide into single-party authoritarianism – the age old justification trotted out that if status-quo ‘moral values’ framework is to survive, it cannot be allowed to the challenged by opposition.

– The problem with (any) ‘moral values’ frameworks is that they will all constantly abut the unseeing, pitiless juggernaut that is technological advance. And like it or not, there is only ever one winner in that fight. So, there will unquestionably be pro-life Texans, who will embrace biotechnological interventions, if for example *their* child or parent were subject to a life-threating genetic disorder which can be fixed by genetic therapies, without ever acknowledging, or even realising that accepting such a solution completely undermines the basis of their pro-life stance, philosophically and morally.

– Related to the previous point, is the unquestionable possibility that the search for such ‘moral values’ framework more and more frequently throws up a blank – for the simple reason that the phrase ‘moral values’ is a human, point-in-time superimposition which has no real meaning. Both nature and technology are amoral – they don’t care about societal concepts such as gods, right and wrong, fairness, justice, equality, ownership, and so on. What, in that situation, would any grouping or individual looking for ‘moral values’ be left with? A choice between a terminal, nihilist malaise, or picking one package of values which feels temperamentally comfortable, and calling it the orthodoxy which must then be defended against all comers?

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

Very interesting comment, thank you.

Absent a divine being is there any definition of good, which doesn’t rest on some aspect of utility. It then becomes a question of utility for whom.

Last edited 2 years ago by Martin Bollis
Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
2 years ago

As someone who is from the United States and has followed this, I have to say Mary Harrington is way off on this one. See she is confused and sees the Republican civil war as a fight between the classical liberals represented by David French and the Burkean conservatism by Sohrab Ahmari. She is dead wrong in so many ways. First, David French in no way in Hell is a classical liberal. Oh, he would go on and on about it but it turned out he was just a statist neoconservative who likes to pretend to have principles, would never actually fight for anything he supposedly believed in, and hates most Republican voters. Can you guess why even the neocon ridden National Review had to let him go? Second Sohrab Ahmari’s views are not popular because most conservatives are angry about what they see as the freedoms promised them by and the laws demanding enforcement by the United States Constitution. (For foreign readers, the U.S. Constitution is very explicit on these things.) Ahmari thinks the state should be forced to enforce its will on the country to impose conservative values. Republican voters see this as a betrayal of the Constitution and potential violations of their freedoms. Third, Conservatism Inc. and Conservatism Ink. (Confusing for nonpolitical non-American writers) are two clashing branches of the Republican establishment. Forth, the real Republican civil war is between the establishment and the populists.

I have to leave soon, so I will finish this later.

Last edited 2 years ago by Matt Hindman
Peter Shaw
Peter Shaw
2 years ago

I’m only educated to post – graduate level. Can someone tell me what this article is saying ? The title was interesting.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter Shaw

Bun-fight at the OK Corral.

Last edited 2 years ago by Prashant Kotak
William Hickey
William Hickey
2 years ago
Reply to  Prashant Kotak

American conservatives met, and while it’s now not OK to be anti-white, it’s still not OK to BE white.

Emre Emre
Emre Emre
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter Shaw

My partial understand was something like this: various strands of (classically and post-) liberal thought have started to dominate the new American converatives, but there’re many angry young dudes who’ve lost faith in the system, and they’ll be trouble when they are older and start to wield political power.

Red Sanders
Red Sanders
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter Shaw

Ditto in education, and for me the article is far more difficult to understand than mapping chromosomes using genetic statistcs.

Stated differently, the more Unherd articles I attempt to decode, the less interesting they become. The vocabulary reminds me of preparing for the GRE.

Apparently, I’m just too dumb to hang with this crowd.

David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter Shaw

It’s torturous because she needs the support of the right in her war on trannies even though she loathes everything else about them. A robotic Julie Bindel.

Last edited 2 years ago by David McDowell
Quo Peregrinatur
Quo Peregrinatur
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter Shaw

That although Dave Rubin, Ben Shapiro, Douglass Murray et al are –for the moment– fellow-travelers with “conservative Ink” (e.g., the younger, more radical and less liberal), the gap between broadly liberal (the aforementioned) and non-liberal (like Ahmari, and like Curtis Yarvin) in fact represents a fault line, across which entirely incongruent worldviews drift in opposite directions, only temporarily aligned by the ephemera of anti-wokeness.

Last edited 2 years ago by Quo Peregrinatur
Emre Emre
Emre Emre
2 years ago

At his point, I’ve begun to think whichever side (progressives or conservatives) manages to capture the sane and compassionate centre, they will ultimately win. I’ve even begun to lose interest in the particulars of their positions, because I’m coming to the conclusion it doesn’t matter. All I care is signs of dominance of sanity and normality to give my support to a political movement.

Last edited 2 years ago by Emre Emre
Michael Coleman
Michael Coleman
2 years ago

The last thing those of us the anti-woke category can afford to do NOW is fracture over the very-real differences between the libertarians and those advocating a greater government role in enforcing morality. Combined together anti-woke forces still lost CA and NJ governor races. If we bring our differences out in the open we will lose. In the USA this means waiting until 2025 at the earliest unfortunately to have the power 1st before deciding the HOW of conservative government.

Prashant Kotak
Prashant Kotak
2 years ago

Exactly. Let’s do them over first. We can fight it out amongst ourselves after we have won.

Dawn McD
Dawn McD
2 years ago

The very expression “enforcing morality” is the problem here, for me (although I see your point in terms of current strategy). What I would like to see the conservative movement do is defend the constitutional republic the U.S. is supposed to be, with a smaller national government, more power returned to the states, and individual liberty. I’m appalled at the current clown world the progressives are dumping on us, but I do not want to live in a theocracy. Freedom of religion means the freedom not to be religious, also.

Michael Coleman
Michael Coleman
2 years ago
Reply to  Dawn McD

Couldn’t agree more but many under the same tent want to push social/moral issues like abortion to the front like with the new restrictive TX abortion law – that gives the woke forces the high ground in the ongoing battle

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
2 years ago

Seems a complicated way of saying, we can all agree that a crazy cult with dangerous nihilistic ideas should not run our societies. What we do after we’ve stabbed that beast to death is something to look forward to.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
2 years ago

“For my adult life, being both young and a conservative has been deeply, irretrievably cringe. “

And yet there you are…. maybe the adage about politics and age by Churchill is proved again: “”If you’re not liberal when you’re young, you have no heart. If you’re not conservative when you’re older, you have no brain.”” Or maybe you did not agree, I could really not tell.

Being the MAGA hat Libertarian Conservative ilk I am down on Post Conservative as I take the ‘Post’ from Post-Modernism and tack it onto Conservative, to get the new philosophy of the age; the Identity and Intersectionality and This sort of apostasy: A collectivizing of society under a government who knows best, for the best…

“And behold, the pandemic state of emergency did indeed shatter the consensus about individual freedom. Across the developed world, the liberal privileging of individual freedom has been replaced by a de facto acceptance that state power absolutely must be ordered to the common good, up to and including coercive measures where necessary. In other words: all politics is now post-liberal. “

Not to me are all politics Post Liberal, being a Boomer I cannot go along with the modern young people’s capture by the ‘Post’ from the – ‘Frankfurt School’ degenerate philosophy, even if it has a conservative flavor. “Don’t Tread On Me’, ‘Death Before Dishonor’, that I can get behind.

I do like the National Conservative movement though. Nationalism, and of all Nations, all self determining and keeping up the Judeo-Christian heritage with traditional Liberalism and morality (in the West, and I would hope the same, but Islamic, in the Islamic Nations, and Shintoism in Japan, etc…)

“Meanwhile, the Gen-Z right-wingers now flocking to this corner of politics have altogether wilder and stranger ideas, that often owe more to the fringes of the Weird Online Right than the Founding Fathers. And they’re the ones with the energy: they still got up at 6am to lift. Even after all that bourbon. Who will win? My best guess is that in the short term we’ll see this movement re-absorbed by the DC blob. Then there’ll be full-scale revolt by Conservatism Ink when they are, in aggregate, old enough to wield power. And then we really will be in bat country.”

Let us hops so, that the old Churchill “”If you’re not liberal when you’re young, you have no heart. If you’re not conservative when you’re older, you have no brain.”” works its magic on these young NatCon gen Z, and brings them to the true Conservative table.

(We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like “I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive. 
” And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, which was going about 100 miles an hour with the top down to Las Vegas. And a voice was screaming: “Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?””

and after the blotter acid, mescalin and mescal, ether and amyl nitrates, pot, cocaine, beer, speed and benzos on the couple hundred mile drive with the bats and hitchhiker – in the hotel elevator he notices something….

“I couldn’t remember. Lacerda? The name rang a bell, but I couldn’t concentrate. Terrible things were happening all around us. Right next to me a huge reptile was gnawing on a woman’s neck, the carpet was a blood-soaked sponge – impossible to walk on it, no footing at all. “Order some golf shoes,” I whispered. “Otherwise, we’ll never get out of this place alive. You notice these lizards don’t have any trouble moving around in this muck – that’s because they have claws on their feet.””

Now that’s how you cover a political conference….https://www.rollingstone.com/feature/fear-and-loathing-in-las-vegas-204655/

TERRY JESSOP
TERRY JESSOP
2 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I think you mean “cringeworthy”. Or perhaps you mean “makes other people cringe”. Your actual sentence does not make sense. For most of my adult life I have thought that what it takes to make your opinion worth considering is to be able to express it in intelligible terms.

Helen E
Helen E
2 years ago
Reply to  TERRY JESSOP

It’s a new usage of cringe.

Last edited 2 years ago by Helen E
Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago

Not really getting the gist of her argument, I looked through the comments for enlightenment, to see if I should read it again. Only a few clues to which country is under discussion but it would seem USA is as disappointed a country as we are in UK, and other european countries, i.e. after electing useless leaders we struggle to seek out and identify better ones and cannot agree on the alternatives. I’m always a bit suspicious of young conservatives. Aren’t the young supposed to be alternate, left leaning, until such time as the light dawns? And no I won’t read it again.

Quo Peregrinatur
Quo Peregrinatur
2 years ago
Reply to  Zorro Tomorrow

The point she is making is that the young in this movement *are* alternative, because the Western establishment is (thoroughly, I would say obviously) progressive, left wing, neoliberal. Although the narrative of youthful rebellion is itself a vestige of leftist politics, a core of highly-aware young people can see the rot throughout the West, and can diagnose the disease as decades and decades of progressive rulership of key Western institutions. They’re not ‘conservative’ and would rebuke that moniker, even though they are –for lack of a better political language– right-wing.

Last edited 2 years ago by Quo Peregrinatur
Jon Hawksley
Jon Hawksley
2 years ago

An interesting article that highlights how much the traditional polarisation in politics has changed. It is very hard to see what the polarisation now centres on yet politics are clearly very polarised. Is it as Mary Harrington suggests that the polarisation is based on an image of what you hate?  That you hate the approach of the other side rather than the substance of their values? That you can divide the population in to two groups that have very different instincts for belonging and feeling controlled? So the how of politics has become more important than the aims?

William Hickey
William Hickey
2 years ago

NatCon II, like it’s predecessor, was a classic gate-keeper affair, with the boundaries of acceptable opinion clearly laid out. Yarvin was there in his Cathedral, but Patrick Casey and Nick Fuentes were not; and the older crowd inside the hall who found Ahmari “out there” would have gotten the smelling salts out if Peter Brimelow, Brion McClanahan or Pedro Gonzalez had been asked to speak.

Race of course is the word we can’t talk about except to condemn it and say it doesn’t exist, which is downright baffling in light of the fact that race is shaping not only the West (through suicidal masochism) but also the entire world. (Google “Steve Sailer’s most important graph in the world”)

Race is also the nuclear weapon that the Left has wielded with unprecedented success to attain and hold power for the last 40 years. But that’s the one topic the beleaguered conservatives of Hazony’s controlled opposition are forbidden to discuss.

Rather, let’s just talk about Virginia’s Winsome Sears, the black conservative who this week garnered all of 19% of the black vote against her Democratic rival for Lieutenant Governor.

19% — There’s the future for you.

David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago
Reply to  William Hickey

Spot on.

David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago

Anyone else waiting for the next hysterical rant from Julie Bindel (who won’t be silenced)?

Last edited 2 years ago by David McDowell
Ferrusian Gambit
Ferrusian Gambit
2 years ago
Reply to  David McDowell

I hope so, I could do with a good laugh.

Matt B
Matt B
2 years ago

All the parties and splinters have money behind them. Too much, as apparent from Nikki Hayley’s roster of billionaire backers (invalidating her growing credibility at a stroke). No doubt the rest of the PAC men will be billionaired too (and women, for it is not only men) – all gilt-edged to the eyeballs. If this is democracy in action onlookers may fairly muse: “whatever we do, not that”. As MH asks, is there a solid idea among them (beyond byzantine positioning too arcane even to follow)?

Last edited 2 years ago by Matt B
Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
2 years ago

Just brilliant, Mary. As usual.
Unlike you, I struggle to cohere the often bewildering strands of contemporary right-wing thought and Conservatism into any semblance of order or meaning.
And after reading this delightfully written and enlightening piece, I sense that the “visions” of the anti-woke Right don’t necessarily align with those of a wishy-washy, old-school leftish liberal like me, simply appalled at the stridently authoritarian and hyper-moralising tone of the wokeist cultural establishment.

Last edited 2 years ago by Eddie Johnson
Quo Peregrinatur
Quo Peregrinatur
2 years ago

An outstanding article as usual from Harrington (I am now a subscriber to UnHerd, thanks to the truly uncommon perspicacity she has shown in this piece). A hyperlink to Unqualified Reservations!
Notably absent from Conservative Ink (read: the confident, energetic future of what we now anachronistically call “the Right”): Protestants. I know neoreactionaries who are atheists, pagans, and Christ-believing Catholics, but nary any Protestants. What, then, is the future of Protestantism in the West? From the horizon I can see, it will not endure as a political force.

Last edited 2 years ago by Quo Peregrinatur
Michael Chambers
Michael Chambers
2 years ago

It’s not really possible to find solid common ground with people who believe lies, love boorish leaders, and have no interest in policy solutions i.e. Trump supporters.

Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago

Impossible to find solid common ground with people who think Biden, Harris and Pelosi have any solutions?

Michael Chambers
Michael Chambers
2 years ago
Reply to  Zorro Tomorrow

Biden et al at least sign up to the current US constitutional system and accept democratic defeat. Basically, it’s difficult for to find common ground with people who do not accept basic democratic norms.

Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
2 years ago

Well said. I was trying to make the same point above.
Mary conveniently avoids mentioning the word Trump, or discussing his hold on the American Right/Republican party (not withstanding Youngkip’s welcome victory) .
As vehemently opposed as I am to the infestation of wokedom, cancel culture, CRT, identitarianism etc. across all realms of our society, uniting under Trump’s banner, and aligning myself with swivel-eyed QAnon-inflected nutjobs and cohorts to combat this madness is simply not an option.
They are as remote from reality (“the Big Steal”) as the hyper-moralising phantasists they rail against.

Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago
Reply to  Eddie Johnson

The American voting public majority are not all QAnon, rednecks, snowflakes, wokeists and “hyper-moralising phantasists” any more than Steve Bray represents Remain here. Good phrase btw.

Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Zorro Tomorrow

Okay. Point taken.
Although I did read that something like 70% of Republicans subscribe to the “Big Steal” theory.

Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago
Reply to  Eddie Johnson

Biden 81 million, Trump 75 million. Hmmm… 51 million suspicious Republicans? Big pressure group

Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Zorro Tomorrow

Well…yes.
And one with a tenuous grasp on reality.

Last edited 2 years ago by Eddie Johnson
Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago

That’s another debate. You stated policy solutions, implying that the Democrats did indeed have solutions. You can neither confirm nor deny the conduct of the election, not yet proven either way but where there’s smoke there’s fire. It is doubtful the Dems will have two terms in power, doubtful Joe will see all of his four years and unlikely Harris will be able to preside effectively after the mid terms.

Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Zorro Tomorrow

” You can neither confirm nor deny the conduct of the election, not yet proven either way ”
Jeezus wept. Seriously?
It is beholden on those claiming there was massive fraud to finally furnish evidence, don’t you think?
Simply demanding those rejecting these absurd claims to “Google” doesn’t cut it, I’m afraid.

Last edited 2 years ago by Eddie Johnson
Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago
Reply to  Eddie Johnson

Judging by the media bias misinforming the public how bad Trump was and how good Biden would be must lead to suspicion. Just because you liked the outcome doesn’t mean it was fair. Regardless of 2020 opinion the Biden presidency is a disaster. His stumbling absent minded oratory shows he is clearly not fit for Office, nor his party hiding behind the coat tails of a proven liar and they, his own Party, don’t think Harris is either. Either by a crooked vote or a brain dead population, the free world is now a dangerous place without a sensible USA at the helm.

Eddie Johnson
Eddie Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Zorro Tomorrow

“Judging by the media bias misinforming the public how bad Trump was and how good Biden would be must lead to suspicion”
Eh? And what has this to do with elections results or the claims of fraud?
Being a sore loser doesn’t qualify as evidence.

Laura Cattell
Laura Cattell
2 years ago

The recent embrace of ‘Orbanism’ by the hideous Tucker Carlson on Fox News failed to discover ahead of time that Hungarians cannot own guns and they must be vaccinated. I’m assuming the rest of the flock don’t know that either.

hugh bennett
hugh bennett
2 years ago
Reply to  Laura Cattell

It is fashionable in some quarters say that the right thrives on antagonism, on dividing the world into East, West, North and South, rich and poor, one nation against the next, black and white. But to me it seems the Left is determined to mount those antagonistic horses first in their race to the bottom.
At the moment too many in the West ( mothers in Virginia excepted!!) prefer a kind of “Facebook democracy,” clicking “like” buttons with glee and and shouting out against against politicians and media they don`t like.
The East of Europe deserves respect, at least some very considered emphatic thought before they are vilified, History has not been kind to them and they bare far deeper scars than the USA (slavery included).
In the East, they want a return to law and order, clearly demarcated nation borders, they want to know their daughters are safe. And that is just like so many in Western Europe and the USA who will in the next few years Come-out and stand up for common sense and order).

Laura Cattell
Laura Cattell
2 years ago
Reply to  hugh bennett

So what did I say that isn’t factual?

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago
Reply to  Laura Cattell

From your various comments on this, people will push back against your use of language like ‘hideous’ and ‘lunatic fringe’ 
.. and your assumption that conservative voters subscribe to group identity and group think on a basket of issues – like most voters on the Left do.
Conservatives (including classical liberals and the like) are more able to debate single issues and find common ground even when not agreeing on everything.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
2 years ago
Reply to  Laura Cattell

There are guns and there are “guns”. I would like to own the type of weapon that uses a 9mm cartridge to propel a hard rubber ball – entirely for self defence within my home. In Hungary, no problem – in the UK, not allowed. I might be wrong but, off the top of my head, the UK is the only major *European country to have banned an Olympic sport – pistol shooting. I did read somewhere that the UK pistoliers go to Belgium to practice.
*Europe not EU

Laura Cattell
Laura Cattell
2 years ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

What’s that got to do with anything? I was referencing the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party believing that Hungary is some kind of utopia for them when they can’t own a gun and they have to be vaxed. A gun owner in America wouldn’t be seen dead with the type of pistol you described.

Ferrusian Gambit
Ferrusian Gambit
2 years ago
Reply to  Laura Cattell

People seeking ‘Worker Power’ in Hungary would be disappointed to: Orban is quite pro-business and economically they have been more liberal than the ex-leftist bongland exiles would be confortable with I suspect. Their pro-natal policies have also be quite heavily targeted at the aspiration home owning young middle class rather than the left behinds.

Not that this is bad, it makes sense in many ways, but is incongruent with some of the idealistic visions one reads on this site.

Last edited 2 years ago by Ferrusian Gambit