Saturday, March 4, 2017

The arc of American conservatism

This article traces an arc of post-WWII conservatism in the US.  It claims that the consensus of Enlightenment-era values (truth, fact, intelligent, informed debate) and a concern for the common good that emerged after the Second World War in the US has been gradually chipped away at by a very idiosyncratic brand of conservatism.  The author claism that the antisocial ideas of big businessmen and ideologues like William F Buckley found little support in the general populace until they were merged with racial animus in the 1950s and 1960s.  After this point, such formerly unpalatable ideas of selfishness and the destruction of public institutions found increasing acceptance in the [white] public, so swept up in the urge to deny basic rights and wellbeing to people of color that they were even willing to give up their own rights and wellbeing.

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