Gloomy Conservatives

"A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs
who, however, has never learned to walk."

—Franklin D. Roosevelt

This is a very disturbing book, concluding that "America will one day be 'one with Nineveh and Tyre,'" and that the general principles of conservatism will only reappear "when circumstances favorable to civilization return." The remnant, or paleoconservatives, are "without real hope" of political or cultural power, their only function being to express "iconoclastic exuberance" over unpopular causes in a spirit "far more Nietzschean than neo-Thomistic." This gloomy conservatism is the fruit of a movement whose magnificent development (described in five brilliant chapters) was arrested and finally destroyed by a force Paul Gottfried calls "neoconservatism," whose chief concerns are for the money and power that flow from a connection with the political establishment of Washington, D.C. Gottfried's neoconservatives are not just the Democratic, Cold War liberal intellectuals who shifted right in the late 1960's; they include most of the writers for National Review, the staff of the Heritage Foundation, and indeed most leaders and intellectuals commonly identified as "conservative."

This revised edition of The Conservative Movement is actually...

Join now to access the full article and gain access to other exclusive features.

Get Started

Already a member? Sign in here