The Present Age: Progress and Anarchy in Modern America

Robert A. Nisbet

Robert Nisbet argues here that conservatism has become as corrupt as liberalism in its celebration of militarism and war and its unrelenting call for the state to monitor and regulate private life. Far from sustaining the culture, this approach to policy has debased the culture and fed an economic corruption of special-interest clamoring for privilege.

His attack on the Reagan administration goes further than most anything you read on the left side of the political perspective. He shows that conservative devotion to his presidency is nothing but a species of the dictatorship complex working itself out in democratic form. He applies the same critique to the left’s love of FDR.

Meet the Author
Robert A. Nisbet

Robert Nisbet (1913–1996), the eminent sociologist, taught at Columbia University and made his mark on intellectual life through observing the intermediating structures in society that serve as a bulwark between the individual and the state. He was known as a conservative, and his work is on every list of conservative contributions to the social sciences, but far from being a typical conservative, he blasted conservatism as a species of militarist and invasive interventionism, one that abused people’s public and private pieties in the service of a ghastly civic ethic of statism. He is the author of The Present Age: Progress and Anarchy in Modern America and Twilight of Authority.

Mises Daily Robert A. Nisbet
What we have witnessed is the almost incessant growth in power over the lives of human beings — power that is basically the result of the gradual disappearance of all the intermediate institutions.
Robert A. Nisbet
It is only too clear that behind the tactical and strategical problems of our relations with the rest of the world-not to emphasize the occasional humiliations-lie some major difficulties of perspective. They are most plainly political difficulties
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