Two Strains of Conservatism
By Arnold Kling
I found this Jonah Goldberg interview worthwhile. It’s three hours!
This is from a show where listeners could call in. Goldberg’s adversaries strike me as petty. I don’t think they raise issues with his views of the relationship between progressivism and fascism.
I think that there are issues worth raising. One can argue that fascism is more than just a religion of the state. It included a celebration of violence in politics. One can argue that progressivism generally does not celebrate political violence, and one can argue that this is a key distinction.
Overall, I enjoy listening to him. His voice and his thought process are enjoyable to hear.
One point he makes relatively early is that there is a longstanding tension between conservatives who are focused on limiting government power and conservatives who are focused on wielding government power. I would put it this way: some of us are focused on keeping government small, and we are not particularly concerned with who has power. Other conservatives are focused on having conservatives in power, and they are not particularly concerned with whether government is small.
To those of us in the libertarian camp, the “neocons” come across as corrupted by liberal statism. To those in the conservative camp, the “libertarians” come across as corrupted by liberal nihilism.
Part of my challenge in reaching this audience was that I was a small-government guy talking to an audience of folks who are focused on having conservatives in power.