The Right State of Mind by ProQuest


One of the unfortunate byproducts of this tie to European conservatism was that the American movement sometimes lacked the hard-headed realism about the state that 20th-century America obviously needed. The canon of conservative values that [Kirk] and others pointed to "concealed an indifference to state power," says [Paul Gottfried], who agrees with Murray Rothbard's criticism that by the mid-1950s and the rise of an official conservatism, the movement (in Gottfried's words) "had evolved into a tool of state aggrandizement."Gottfried will have none of this. He reminds us of Harry Jaffa's bitter denunciation of Martin Luther King in the pages of National Review in September 1968, as weU as Norman Podhoretz's 1963 article "My Negro Problem-And Ours." There Podhoretz wrote about his "hatred" for blacks, the "disgusting prurience that stirs in me at the sight of a mixed couple," and "the violence that can stir in me whenever I encounter the special brand of paranoid touchiness to which many Negroes are prone."Neoconservatives often cite McCarthyism as a difference between themselves and the Old Right Neoconservatives, the argument goes, had a far too acute sense of justice not to be opposed to McCarthy. Again, as Gottfried shows, the reality is rather different: by and large the early neoconservatives, Irving Kristol among them, did not particularly care about McCarthyism one way or the other. Gottfried argues that the various forms of the Right have erred in identifying the objectionable aspect of leftism as its "moral relativism." On the contrary, what the Left has advocated is not relativism or the denial of moral values, but rather the imposition of a competing set of absolutes: "Here and in Europe, [the Left] showcases one Value' after another, be it cultural diversity; preferential treatment for non-Western peoples and religions as the historic victims of Western injustice; social equality; or reproductive freedom for women." The Left has been trying, with much s

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