Thursday, March 25, 2021

The Left, if it ever were revolutionary, is so no longer

...Many college students oppose government restrictions on personal behavior and ambiguous U.S. land wars. For them, libertarians who oppose “statism” can offer an alternative. Some eventually become “fusionist” conservatives favoring ordered liberty, in Meyer’s words, “to guarantee freedom, so that men may uncoercedly pursue virtue.”

As currently understood on campuses, the word “conservatism” seems anachronistic. Yet nearly any variation of conservatism, properly marketed, has a nascent, if unrealized, appeal. That’s because students are naturally skeptical, typically dissenters, and normally question authority and the prevailing orthodoxy. Tell them that the Establishment is surely not the conservatives....

Is there any doubt that we are — remain — in a revolutionary age? If it started more than a half century ago, we are closer to the endgame, so that the answer, paradoxically, is not a counter-revolution. The Left has succeeded beyond politics; long before you realized it, their revolution harmonized as the Establishment. Thus our young people who are conservative and libertarian now truly have this destiny — to be revolutionaries in intellect and ideas — starting now!

This may be confusing for some, but know this: The Left, if it ever were revolutionary, is so no longer. The role reversal, if not finished in Meyer’s time, is now complete. Conservatives are not trying to conserve; they are in revolt, or they should be.

The young conservatives who love liberty are, even more than in the ’60s, the true radicals, not in the sense of incivility and intolerance, coercion and violence, but for ideals....