It is conventional to refer to the great tycoons of our own and earlier times as capitalists. The term has a complicated history, heavily influenced by Marxist diatribes against the accumulation of wealth and the influence of those who possess it. Today, though capitalism is defended stridently by neoconservatives, the first generation of neocons found the word hard to stomach. Irving Kristol, aping E.M. Forster, could only give it two cheers,
This added section, which goes between the discussion of Machiavelli and the discussion of reason and tradition, is intended to sketch out a few operating rules for how conservatives should approach a question.
2B Coherence and Casuistry
Most conservative movements and initiatives fail and fail badly…
Yesterday’s Washington Post reported that, according to a recent Pew Center study, 19.6% of Americans now describe themselves as having no religious affiliation. They are the new foot soldiers of the Democratic Party: 68% of those with no religious affilation lean Democrat, a number that increases to 73% among self-described atheists and agnostics. According to the Post, the religiously unaffiliated are now the largest “faith constituency” in the Democratic Party. This is consistent with a recent Kaiser Family Foundation study of the two major parties, which showed that a majority of Democrats belong to one of two groups identified by the Kaiser Family Foundation, “Urban Liberals” or the “Agnostic Left,” both of which are hostile to any religious influence in public life. Thus, the Obama Administration’s anti-Christian actions are a reflection of what many of today’s Democrats want, which is to use the federal government to make Christian organizations conform to the tenets of secular liberalism. The HHS contraceptive mandate, which Obama has refused to back away from in a tight election year, is likely only the beginning.
3. Reason, Sentiment, and Tradition
Skeptical of propaganda and the sentimentalism of human rights and progress, palaeoconservatives might be attacked for their cold-blooded rationality. Instead, they are more typically criticized for their supposedly romantic attachment to tradition and for their rejection of the “science” of politics preached by the highly unscientific followers of Leo Strauss and other foreign-born political gurus.