I’ve not read the book itself yet – though I’ve seen it recommended in several places – but this review of Corey Robin’s The Reactionary Mind, by Connor Kilpatrick in The Exiled not only makes me want to run out and buy the book immediately, it makes me want to find the author and plant a big wet kiss on both his cheeks. Get a load of this:
The first rule of debate: Never accept your opponent’s characterization of his own position. But for decades, liberals–in their perpetual Nerf-war against conservatives–have done just the opposite. While conservatives bloviate about traditionalism (Buckley), skepticism (Burke), sobriety (Taft), and order (Mill), liberals are the first to bobblehead in agreement. “Yes,” they say over paté and pinot at Davos, “That’s you.”
Yet no matter how many laws they break or billions they loot, how many phantoms they conjure, how many social ties they sever, how many innocents they imprison, torture and execute, no matter how many foreign monsters they champion, no matter how much they scream that two-plus-two equals five, and no matter how much they double-down on crazed schemes while swearing it’ll all be different this time, the liberal–dutiful little poodle that he is–still wags his head. “Yes, yes. Calm, measured, skeptical conservatism.”…Robin’s thesis is simple: ignore the Right-wing taxonomy. Conservatism–despite the seemingly incompatible respective ideologies of free-marketeers, slavers, neocons, neofascists, Buckleys, Federalists, Bloombergians, traditionalists, Tea Baggers, Randians, McCarthyists, libertarians, Birchers, Goldbugs, Jesus Freaks, J .Edgars, pro-lifers—has been, in reality, firmly united behind a single mission since the French Revolution: the creation of new regimes of privilege and domination in the face of democratic threats.
A better summation of modern-day conservatism I’ve not read in a long, long time – maybe ever.