The Old Right, which constituted the American right wing from approximately the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s, was, if nothing else, an Opposition movement. Hostility to the Establishment was its hallmark, its very lifeblood. In fact, when in the 1950s the monthly newsletter RIGHT attempted to convey to its readers news of the right wing, it was of course forced to define the movement it would be writing about â€” and it found that it could define the right wing only in negative terms: in its total opposition to what it conceived to be the ruling trends of American life.
In brief, the Old Right was born and had its being as the opposition movement to the New Deal, and to everything, foreign and domestic, that the New Deal encompassed: at first, to burgeoning New Deal statism at home, and then, later in the ’30s, to the drive for American global intervention abroad. Since the essence of the Old Right was a reaction against runaway Big Government at home and overseas, this meant that the Old Right was necessarily, even if not always consciously, libertarian rather than statist, “radical” rather than traditional conservative apologists for the existing order. FULL ARTICLE