One of the enduring mysteries, one that is rarely explored, is why all right-wing movements in America have failed to make a dent in Progressivism. The first iteration of conservatism in America was washed away by Progressive reformers in the first part of the 20th century. When political crisis struck, conservatives had no political solutions, just theoretical analysis. Progressives, meanwhile, had a program.
In response to the success of New Deal politics, the American Right reorganized in the middle of the last century around more practical items. Buckley-style conservatism was about winning elections and implementing policy. Like its predecessor, it failed to do much to stem the tide of Progressive innovation. In the end it was corrupted by the system it sought to reform, becoming just another node on the managerial state.
The reason for this long track record of futility is that American conservatism has always been dominated by bourgeois objectivism. Unlike Randian objectivism, bourgeois objectivism is the assumption that the world runs by a set of immutable laws and that the point of politics is to adapt to those laws. Discovering the right answer is the point of all political activity as once the answer is clear, everything falls into place.
In the realm of politics, it means that all political actors, individually and in groups, are acting from rational and discoverable motives. This naturally leads to a reductionist interpretation of Progressive politics. Whatever the Left proposes is feverishly analyzed by conservatives to discern “real motives”. Further, it is always assumed that the Left is driven by the same desires as the Right would be driven, if the roles were reversed.
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