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Extremism in the Defense of Tradition

Here Larry Auster faces terminal cancer with courage and serenity. Many in the paleocon universe have crossed paths with Auster, a talented writer and disputationist who characteristically began from conservative premises and pushed them to extremist conclusions. At this stage I think his views might be described  as some sort of blend of Meir Kahane and Sam Francis, if that were possible. He is, naturally, a foe and frequent critic of TAC, which has nothing Kahanist (and quite little of Sam Francis) about it. His  hatred of modernity, multiculturalism, the decline of traditional patterns of behavior in the West was the force driving his work. I suspect by sensibility he could be grouped with various European fascist intellectuals—figures like Robert Brasillach or Julius Evola come to mind, though I am not especially familiar with them, but of course the latter were anti-Semitic and Auster is (I believe) ethnically Jewish and a fairly passionate right-wing Zionist.  The sole country in which most of Auster’s views would be mainstream today is Israel, but he was probably too much of an American to emigrate. And if I understand correctly, he converted to Christianity some years ago, which would probably complicate his aliyah.

Auster’s blog, View from the Right, contains more than 20,000 entries and comments. A generation hence, an American studies student looking for a window into radical right-wing disillusion with post-millennial America could do far worse in dissertation topics than exploring the work of this idiosyncratic figure.

about the author

Scott McConnell is a founding editor of The American Conservative and the author of Ex-Neocon: Dispatches From the Post-9/11 Ideological Wars. Follow him on Twitter at @ScottMcConnell9.

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