Paul Gottfried’s recent piece on the end of the paleo movement, and the emergence of something else, is well worth reading (as is his brilliant new book on American conservatism.) This passage, though, caught my eye, and I want to enter a brief dissent:
“[The new paleoconservatism] consists mostly of younger (thirty-something) writers and political activists; and although they are still glaringly under-funded, this rising generation is building bridges on the right. Their contacts are with disenchanted, onetime allies of the “conservative movement” and with those who would gladly jump ship if there were professional alternatives to serving neocon masters. The Evil Empire is spongier than it looks, and if its younger opponents had more serious resources, this empire would be under siege, no matter how loudly the liberal press rallied to its neocon talking partners. Daniel Lazare was right when he noticed twenty years ago the limited shelf-life of neoconservative ideology. Despite all of their resources, the neocons have had nothing of interest to say for at least three decades.”
My small quibble with this is Paul’s placement of some hope in “writers and political activists;” not that people like Daniel Larison and Dan McCarthy are not talented, but that that focus is misplaced. The necons may have had nothing to ay for at least three decades, but they seem to have convinced the populace nonetheless. I am afraid that the resonance of unlimited immigration and aggressive war is stronger in the average American than most paleocons like to admit, and I would argue that that resonance is only partly due to neocon publicity.