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Paleoconservatism (sometimes shortened to paleocon) is a conservative political philosophy which stresses traditionalism, limited government, Christian ethics, regionalism and nationalism.[a]

Paleoconservatism's concerns overlap those of the Old Right that opposed the New Deal in the 1930s and 1940s.[1] According to the international relations scholar Michael Foley, "paleoconservatives press for restrictions on immigration, a rollback of multicultural programs, the decentralization of federal policy, the restoration of controls upon free trade, a greater emphasis upon economic nationalism and noninterventionism in the conduct of American foreign policy".[2]

Political theorist Paul Gottfried states that the term originally referred to various Americans, such as conservative and traditionalist Catholics and agrarian Southerners, who turned to anti-communism during the Cold War.[3]

TerminologyEdit

The prefix "paleo" derives from the Greek root παλαιός, meaning "ancient" or "old". It is somewhat tongue-in-cheek and refers to the paleoconservatives' claim to represent a more historic, authentic conservative tradition than that found in neoconservatism. Adherents of paleoconservatism often describe themselves simply as "paleo". Neoconservative Rich Lowry of National Review claims the prefix "is designed to obscure the fact that it is a recent ideological creation of post–Cold War politics".[4]

Samuel T. Francis, Thomas Fleming and some other paleoconservatives de-emphasized the "conservative" part of the "paleoconservative" label, saying that they do not want the status quo preserved.[5][6] Fleming and Paul Gottfried called such thinking "stupid tenacity" and described it as "a series of trenches dug in defense of last year's revolution".[7] Francis defined authentic conservatism as "the survival and enhancement of a particular people and its institutionalized cultural expressions".[8][9]

IdeologyEdit

Paleoconservatives support restrictions on immigration, decentralization, trade tariffs and protectionism, economic nationalism, isolationism and a return to traditional conservative ideals relating to gender, ethnicity, and race.[10] Paleoconservatism differs from neoconservatism in opposing free trade and promoting Republicanism in the United States. Paleoconservatives see neoconservatives as empire-builders and themselves as defenders of the republic.[11]

As with other conservatives, paleoconservatives tend to oppose abortion on demand, oppose LGBTQ rights, oppose welfare, and gay marriage. while supporting handgun ownership.[10][12]

Human nature, tradition and reasonEdit

Paleoconservatives believe tradition is a better guide than reason. For example, Mel Bradford wrote that certain questions are settled before any serious deliberation concerning a preferred course of conduct may begin. This ethic is based in a "culture of families, linked by friendship, common enemies, and common projects".[13] So a good conservative keeps "a clear sense of what Southern grandmothers have always meant in admonishing children, 'we don't do that'".[14]

Pat Buchanan argues that a good politician must "defend the moral order rooted in the Old and New Testament and Natural Law"—and that "the deepest problems in our society are not economic or political, but moral".[15] On the other hand, Samuel T. Francis complained that the Christian right focuses on certain social issues and neglects other civilizational crises.[16]

Southern traditionalismEdit

According to historian Paul V. Murphy, paleoconservatives developed a focus on "states' rights" and political localism. From the mid-1980s onward, Chronicles promoted a Southern traditionalist worldview focused on national identity, regional particularity, and skepticism of abstract theory and centralized power.[17] According to Hague, Beirich, and Sebesta (2009), the antimodernism of the paleoconservative movement defined the neo-confederate movement of the 1980s and 1990s. During this time, notable paleoconservative argued that desegregation, welfare, tolerance of gay rights, and church-state separation had been damaging to local communities, and that these issues had been imposed by federal legislatures and think tanks. Paleoconservatives also claimed the Southern Agrarians as forebearers in this regard.[18]

Alt-rightEdit

The Alt-right movement emerged out of the younger generation of paleoconservatives. The movement was founded in 2010 by a former paleoconservative, American white nationalist Richard B. Spencer who launched AlternativeRight.org to disseminate his ideas after working as an editor for a number of paleoconservative outlets. The Alt-right was influenced by paleoconservatism, the Dark Enlightenment, and the Nouvelle Droite. Unlike paleoconservatism it is an explicitly white-supremicist movement.[19]

Prominent peopleEdit

PoliticiansEdit

Philosophers and scholarsEdit

JournalistsEdit

Notable organizations and outletsEdit

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ For more discussion of defining elements of paleoconservative thought, see Gottfried 1993, Gottfried 2006, and Scotchie 2017b.

ReferencesEdit

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ Raimondo 1993.
  2. ^ Foley 2007, p. 318.
  3. ^ Gottfried 2006.
  4. ^ Lowry, Richard (2005). "Reaganism v. Neo-Reaganism". The National Interest. No. 79. Center for the National Interest. pp. 35–41. ISSN 1938-1573. JSTOR 42897547. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  5. ^ Francis 1994.
  6. ^ Foer, Franklin (July 22, 2002). "Home Bound". The New Republic. Archived from the original on October 1, 2009. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  7. ^ Gottfried & Fleming 1988, p. xv.
  8. ^ Francis, Samuel (July 1992). "The Buchanan Revolution" (PDF). Chronicles. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 23, 2004. Retrieved January 27, 2018 – via SamFrancis.net.
  9. ^ Francis, Samuel (March 2004). "(Con)fusion on the Right". Chronicles. Archived from the original on April 4, 2007. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Matthews, Dillon. "The alt-right is more than warmed-over white supremacy. It's that, but way way weirder". Vox. Vox Media Inc. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  11. ^ neocons:
  12. ^ Ideology:
  13. ^ Bradford, M. E. (1990). The Reactionary Imperative: Essays Literary and Political. Peru, Illinois: Sherwood Sugden. p. 129. Quoted in Murphy 2001, p. 233.
  14. ^ Bradford, M. E. (1990). The Reactionary Imperative: Essays Literary and Political. Peru, Illinois: Sherwood Sugden. pp. 119, 121. Quoted in Murphy 2001, p. 233.
  15. ^ Pat Buchanan Responds To Lenora Fulani's Resignation – Buchanan Campaign Press Releases – theinternetbrigade – Official Web Site Archived October 5, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "samfrancis.net" (PDF). samfrancis.net. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  17. ^ Murphy 2001, p. 218.
  18. ^ Hague, Euan; Beirich, Heidi; Sebesta, Edward H. (2009). Neo-Confederacy: A Critical Introduction. University of Texas Press. pp. 25–27. ISBN 9780292779211. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  19. ^ CQ Researcher (2017). Issues in Race and Ethnicity: Selections from CQ Researcher. SAGE Publications. pp. 4–6. ISBN 978-1-5443-1635-2.
  20. ^ "Considering Bannon". Chronicles Magazine. March 2, 2017.
  21. ^ Dueck 2010, p. 258.
  22. ^ Hawley 2017; Newman & Giardina 2011, p. 50.
  23. ^ Clark 2016, p. 77; Dueck 2010, p. 258; Hawley 2017; Newman & Giardina 2011, p. 50.
  24. ^ Ansell 1998, p. 34.
  25. ^ Robertson, Derek. "The Canadian Psychologist Beating American Pundits at Their Own Game". Politico. Capitol News Company. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  26. ^ Newman & Giardina 2011, p. 50; Wilson 2017.
  27. ^ Dueck 2010, p. 258; McDonald 2004, p. 216.
  28. ^ Nash 2006, p. 568; Newman & Giardina 2011, p. 50.
  29. ^ a b Clark 2016, p. 77.
  30. ^ "InfoWars' Alex Jones Stole Over 1,000 Articles From Kremlin-Backed Russia Today". New York Observer. November 9, 2017.
  31. ^ Newman & Giardina 2011, p. 50.
  32. ^ Schneider 2009, p. 212.
  33. ^ Clark 2016, p. 77; Hawley 2017; Schneider 2009, p. 170.

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