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Doomed to Failure: American Conservatism

November 30, 2007

Tags Political Theory

Paul Gottfried's excellent book lends strong support to a controversial claim of Murray Rothbard's. In his The Betrayal of the American Right (Mises Institute, 2007), Rothbard argues that the American Old Right could not be considered conservative in the European sense.

Quite the contrary, it opposed traditional conservatism as an enemy of liberty. Rothbard states his view with characteristic force. He refers to "the philosophy that has marked genuinely conservative thought, regardless of label, since the ancient days of Oriental despotism: an all-encompassing reverence for 'Throne-and-Altar,' for whatever divinely sanctioned State apparatus happened to be in existence." (Betrayal, p. 1).

The Old Right of Nock, Garrett, Flynn, and others, was a classical liberal movement, not a conservative one. FULL ARTICLE

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