The Natcon About-Face

Yoram Hazony was the first National Conservatism Conference’s 2019 keynote speaker. Today I feel happy because today is independence day! He added. He said, “Today, we declare independence form neoconservatism and neoliberalism. From libertarianism.

Hazony had become a more prominent organizer by the time that the second National Conservatism Conference was held last fall. America’s in a difficult spot. “The democratic world is in an extremely difficult spot,” he stated. We won’t make it if we don’t have an alliance between anti-Marxist Liberals and hardcore, serious Conservatives.

The “natcons”, by changing from purging those who do not agree to the nationalist agenda, to accepting all visitors to their ranks, have lost the original characteristic that made them unique.

No wonder. The attendees at NatCon I believed that they were part of a large army, ready to move into a peaceful mercantilist future three years ago. To the left, you can see that Donald Trump had won popular support because of his concerns about losing manufacturing jobs as well as the associated disgust for free trade and markets. Therefore, the conference had two main topics: opposition to immigration and support of federal policies in industrial policy.

Things are different today. Trump’s most notable accomplishments were a significant tax cut, which was the priority of “Zombie Reaganists” as natcons like to call them. He also initiated a program that expedited COVID-19 vaccinations. This is something that a substantial portion of Trump’s base opposes. Trump’s attempt to control the economy ended in disaster. You can see the devastating effects of Trump’s tariffs as well as the shell that was to have been a Foxconn facility worth $10 billion. This empty shell was touted by Trump to be an example of “America First”.

In retrospect, cultural concerns—about runaway political correctness, assaults on religious liberty, left-wing bias in the media and academe—are what pushed so many voters into Trump’s arms, and NatCon II reflected that realization. Dave Rubin, who was more closely aligned with the classic liberals Hazony once wanted to exterminate than Hazony himself, was the top-billed speaker at NatCon II.

However, not everyone was happy. Julius Krein (editor of the nationalist journal) stated that if your primary goal is to cut taxes or abolish the administrative state or ban abortion or oppose wokeness or vaccine mandates, then you should not be happy. American AffairsA panel member stated that you don’t need nationalalism to do any of this. It’s counterproductive, in fact. It might just be more beneficial to simply be libertarian.