What's Left of the Old Right

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Description: "But [John T. Flynn] was soon disillusioned," writes [Justin Raimondo]. "During the first hundred days of his administration, Roosevelt racked up a deficit larger than the one it took Hoover two years to produce." Flynn was "particularly horrified" by FDR's National Recovery Administration, which was largely modeled on Mussolini's corporatism. He called it "probably the gravest attack upon the whole principle of democratic society in our political history." The New Deal radicalized Flynn against the central state as his liberal colleagues swooned over FDR's corporatism. Raimondo explains, "The entry of the United States into World War II completed the transformation of Flynn from a disenchanted liberal to a proto-libertarian advocate of laissez-faire and non-intervention."Other Old Right stalwarts came from the Left. Rose Wilder Lane was a communist sympathizer, but "quite unlike her opposite numbers in the Future Neocons of America contingent," she turned against socialism and came "to challenge the central premise of statism." H.L. Mencken was not a conservative but a radical. There is nothing rightwing about his shockingly irreverent Notes on Democracy, which lambastes nationalism, small towns, creationism, religion, prohibition, World War I, and puritanical busybodies. As for Albert Jay Nock, today's conservatives might see his views on family, landownership, and police as "Cultural Marxism." And the anarchistic Frank Chodorov warned that anyone who called him a conservative would "get a punch in the nose."By contrast, [Scott P. Richert]'s essay at the end of this edition draws a distinction between conservatism's defense of liberty and the "(abstract) libertarian ideal of nonaggression." For Richert, the trouble with neoconservatism "is not that the wrong ideology won, but that ideology won at all." True conservatism is grounded in Russell Kirk's "permanent things," not abstractions: "Rather than attempting to 'reconcile liberty and tradition,' we need to recov
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