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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/8152/raimondo-on-the-right/

Raimondo on the Right

May 28, 2008 by

I’ve really grown to appreciate this book over the years: Reclaiming the American Right, and it is back in print and in the Mises.org store.

It was written in 1992 and appeared first in 1993, and it has aged rather well. Justin Raimondo writes an entire chapter on the main figures of the “old right” including Nock, Garrett, Patterson, and others who opposed FDR’s welfare-warfare state. He makes the argument that this group is more representative of the true spirit of American conservatism: love of liberty and hatred of the planning state. You can argue with his thesis and terms but not the remarkable intellectual history here. He seems to have read everything and he provides excellent summaries of their main works. I discovered this myself when doing all my work on Garrett and only checking this book later to find that he had read all the novels and provided excellent summaries of them. So my respect for this book has only increased over the years.

I have doubts about his proposed attempt to save the right from itself. It strikes me that the enterprise is futile at this point, and that the right has been so completely transformed since those days that there is no sense in longing for any form of restoration. On the other hand, he does make a strong case for the old right and its coherence as a movement and intellectual force.

In any case, the book is back and it is as challenging as ever!

{ 1 comment }

Stephen W. Carson May 29, 2008 at 3:52 pm

Here is the use of this book, and similar efforts.

The point is not to recreate version 1.0 of the American Right. It is to reclaim individuals who feel some loyalty to American conservatism for the cause of liberty. Here is the argument that needs to be had: What is good in the American conservative tradition? Is it the police state, the military state, US global hegemony? Or is it the anti-state thread of liberty and peace? There are plenty of folks arguing for option 1.

The effort spent arguing for option 2 is not wasted. I can attest to this as someone who grew up in a “conservative” home and became convinced that the core of what my family correctly valued in political conservatism was, in fact, libertarianism (however muddled and confused).

Justin’s book ought to be titled “Reclaiming the American Rightist”.

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