The Radical Right Philosophers: A World After LiberalismMatthew Rose Yale University Press, Yale University Press, 298 pages, $28
The stakes involved in politics are high for certain MAGA members. Their children are frightened by the presence of transsexuals in schools and their fathers being fired from their manufacturing jobs by corporations which mock their beliefs. They believe their worldview is so sickening that they control all cultural and political power.
Trump was unable to change America to what they desired. Many intellectual right thinkers and institutions have said it is time to let go of Trump’s grip. It’s time, they argue, to fight against “liberalism”—not just the attitudes associated with the Democratic Party, but the historical idea of a social order based on people’s ability to make their own choices about what to do with their lives and property, to live and travel where they wish, to choose meanings, family structures, attitudes, and lifeways freed of any obligation to national or ethnic traditions. They demand the American right of toughness and to destroy progressivism from its roots.
There has been an intellectual revival in small numbers of despised or forgotten thinkers, often called “reactionary.” There are many ways to get involved. After Liberalism: A World After LiberalismMatthew Rose from the Morningside Institute evaluates five: Julius Evola (Oswald Spengler), Julius Evola Francis Parker Yockey, Francis Parker Yockey and Alain de Benoist.
Six years ago, these books would have been considered a curiosity by those who enjoy a frisson on forbidden delight while dancing on the intellectual edge. They explore paths that are so out of conformity with national norms they seem to have the lame appeal of intellectual freak shows and not applicable to American electoral politics.
But as Rose notes, a younger right is rising that finds reactionary ideas relevant and appealing: “Republican politicians won’t know them all…but their young aides will,” he writes. The senior editors of conservative magazines don’t have access to them but the junior staff does. This reaction-curious group is a majority of “new nationalist conservatives” who are deemed to be in the ranks. Rose says they “take as their premise” that American conservatism, as it was defined over generations, is “intellectually dead.” The defense of individual liberty, limited government and free trade today is an indicator of political decadence.
Many libertarians believed that they were allies with the right in fighting. For Those principles are against progressive left. Rose’s reactionaries along with their epigones lead the right side of this spectrum. This means that the libertarian feels more like a prisoner on an infernal battlefield, watching two major forces battle to destroy American freedom, each for different reasons and at different locations.
Rose’s reactionary writer sees “humans as naturally tribe, and not autonomous; individuals are as inherently unequal, nor equal; politics is grounded in authority, rather than consent; societies as properly closed. not open.”
Rose views Spengler as an “intellectual Godfather” of reactionary right. He was a German historian in the 20th century. Spengler thought that Western civilization was driven to greatness by Faustian principles. And to Spengler, liberalism—with its supposedly squalid obsessions with political equality and with meeting each other’s needs through peaceful trade—”detests every kind of greatness, everything that towers, rules.”
Rose interprets Spengler as believing “there is no place outside of a particular culture from which human beings can think, feel, or communicate”—an idea generally used to endorse authoritarian attempts to defend cultures from allegedly corrupting external influences. Reactionary thinking is influenced by woke arguments that irreducible cultural relativism has become a reality because it insists on the importance of differences and group distinctions.
Next Julius Evola (an Italian occultist of the 20th century with a significant far-right following) Pop reactionaries believe any normal person should be disapproveveveled by modern excesses and laxity. However, those who do not have prerational neurotic reactions to making choices regarding love, family, religion or where they live, would be more inclined to dismiss Evola. He insists that humans are in essence dogs, which means that they must adhere to a strict outside discipline.
These reactionaries, who lack historical proof or even compelling theories, believe that people thrive and are happier if they have fewer options. They also think it is easier to live a richer life with less freedom and more markets. This is often difficult to believe. They would be happy in that sort of life, given that they tend to be intellectual misfits and malcontents. In Evola’s day and today, liberal modernity has seen many lonely people unhappy with their choices, but it doesn’t prove that nonliberal societies would produce a higher proportion of happy, successful people.
Francis Parker Yockey was an anti-Semitic international man of mystery in various post–World War II underground movements, both fascist and communist, that opposed America’s festering liberalism. The West was at its greatest in his opinion. Lost World War II, which he saw as a German effort to, in Rose’s words, “build a society that could escape the slavery of communism and the anomie of liberalism.”
Less important perhaps than his continued ideological influence—he’s the figure in this book you are least likely to hear about from anyone trying to be part of an aboveground political conversation—is the bizarre and colorful figure Yockey cut. The suitcase he was carrying contained seven birth certificates and passports from Germany and Canada. It also included an entire address book written in code as well three short pornographic stories and an address file. Rose could only say that Rose was “deadly sincere” in his determination to destroy his own life for his dream of Western glory. His words were sealed by his testimony.
Alain de Benoist is a father of the French New Right. He shows that reactionary thinking can have the greatest policy consequences. American politicians won’t be able restore preliberal lifestyles and devastate the global economy. However, they may pursue policies to keep immigrants of other ethnicities and cultures from being excluded.
De Benoist’s identity insists that the imposition of restrictions on free movement of human beings and goods is for humanity’s wonderful heritage of differences. A true democracy is impossible, de Benoist claims, if there are multiple people. Rose summarizes the argument by saying that de Benoist believes that “human identity” can only be achieved through group membership. “Human beings cannot exist in private as individual individuals.” To put it another way, one cannot be content with living in the exact same manner as a long-dead relative.
Samuel Francis is the fifth member of Rose’s quintet. He is best known as a columnist. It Washington Times. Francis warned in 1990 that the Trumpist Movement of “middle American Radicals” would soon arise against global trade, liberal values and globalization. He felt that it was vital to mention in his final years that the only viable middle American was a White middle American.
MAGA is a hub for reactionary ideas. You can find right-wing publications, such as American Greatness and The American Mind, we see arguments that order outweighs liberty, that autarchy cultural purity outweigh free markets and free movement. People are attracted by these ideas because it suggests that there is no “other side” and so state action is justified to punish those who don’t believe in the rule. It was their idea!). They value or claim to value the Spartan virtues and violence of toughness and violence above tolerance and trade.
Libertarians—alone again, naturally—shouldn’t accept that because reactionaries hate the left so very, very much, they must be embraced as allies. The pursuit of individual liberty is what true libertarianism strives for. Because both progressives and reactionaries seek to remake society in their favor by force, they are both threats to civil peace.