November 07, 2016

"Burn it Down" Least Conservative of all Sentiments

Kevin Williamson in National Review:
An American conservatism should be organized around the pursuit of peace, prosperity, and purpose. And, if you will forgive further alliteration, deployed in the defense of privacy and property, which are the practical bulwarks of those loftier goals. But these offer very little to the populist-nationalist.
They are not interested in domestic peace, because they believe themselves to be kept unfairly at the bottom of the pile and desire to overturn that pile, to Burn It Down! as they insist. (I suspect that Russell Kirk would agree that Burn it down! Things couldn’t possibly get any worse! is the least conservative of all sentiments.) They are still less interested in the pursuit of peace abroad, which leads us into entangling and expensive foreign alliances. They are not especially interested in prosperity, either, inasmuch as they resent the success of American firms, especially those with worldwide business operations. Apple to them is just a profiteering Chinese sweatshop operator; Elon Musk, nothing more than the worst sort of abject crony capitalist; Silicon Valley, full of conniving cosmopolitans looking to throw over hardworking American engineers in favor of cheaper help from Bangalore. Their idea of prosperity is that of a zero-sum game: Make the Mexicans pay for it! is for them as much a moral maxim as a fiscal solution...The very idea of private property is in fact in some danger, as is the underlying idea of private life.
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