As Republicans congregate in Tampa, Florida for their national
bigot-fest convention, here’s an interview clip with author, blogger, and poli-sci professor Corey Robin on his book The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin (see Connor Kilpatrick’s snarky but affirmative book review at The eXiled). For a longer and truly illuminating interview listen to this episode of Doug Henwood’s superb podcast. Or, most recently of all, see Robin’s appearance on Up With Chris Hayes yesterday. A provocative element of Robin’s thesis is that modern US conservatism has succeeded in most of its goals (rolling back the welfare state and pushing back against civil rights and feminism) and this partly accounts for its intellectual decay.
Rather than transcribing a snippet of the interview here’s Adam Kotsko helpfully encapsulating conservatism:
the goal of conservatism is to reinforce and, if necessary, reassert “traditional” power structures. In the family sphere, that’s the father. In the economic sphere, that’s the boss. In the government sphere, that’s the police officer or the general (as opposed to the social worker).