Anytime John Derbyshire writes a column, it’s worth noting.
Today, he asks “Will “National Conservatism” Come To The U.S.A.?”
Perusing through George Nash’s influential book, The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America Since 1945, Derb notes the stark changes to the empirical scene since Nash and his generation wrote their seminal treatises:
Nationalism had in any case suffered by association with fascist collectivism. To cherish one’s country was acceptable, but to regard it as the organic expression of a particular people was frowned upon. This was a time when people said—I think Russell Kirk actually said it—“I am a patriot but not at all a nationalist.”
The more one thinks about that assertion, the less sense it makes; but the technology and demographics of the time allowed people in the West to say it without much reflection.
Even after the 1965 Act ended America’s 44-year immigration pause, cheap air travel from the Third World to the First was only beginning to become available. The Second World—the empires of totalitarian communism—was completely closed off. In 1960 no Second Worlders and not many Third Worlders could get U.S. visas; in 1970, when Third Worlders could, not many could yet afford the air fare…
The patriot-but-not-nationalist line looks, in retrospect, to have something of cheap grace about it. No need to think about nationalism when the borders are secure and pressure from outside negligible.
Derb then pivots his column on what the future might hold:
Thus the conservative critique of capitalism deserves an airing. We conservatives whose opinions were cooked in the mid-to-late 20th century tend to look kindly on capitalism, in part because we saw close up the horrors and inefficiency of state socialism. But the traditionalist-conservative critique reminds us that capitalism is not necessarily a friend of liberty.
Capitalists— well, some capitalists— are quite happy to crush your liberties if it’s good for business, which it sometimes is. Indeed, as we see from all the business lobbying for open borders, they’re happy to crush national sovereignty, debase the value of citizenship, and displace American workers, if those things are good for the bottom line….
As the economic manifestation of individual liberty, standing in contrast with socialist tyranny, capitalism was given a pass. The only Cold War conservatives to offer any significant critique of capitalism were Southern agrarians like Richard Weaver, drawing on the old sectionalist Southern prejudices seeing Yankees as cold-blooded, ruthless seekers of profit…
… One possibility is that the Old World will come in to redress the balance of the New. The phrase “National Conservatism” is now gaining currency, though almost entirely on the other side of the Atlantic.
The Sweden Democrats are given as an example. Britain’s UKIP is allowed to be a party “with national conservative elements.”
VDARE.com’s James Kirkpatrick has argued that “National Conservatism” is exactly what Senator Jeff Sessions’ heroic critique of the bipartisan Amnesty/ Immigration Surge spasm amounts to…
Will national conservatism come to the U.S.A.? If it does, we at VDARE.com will be the first to ring the bell.