Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

The Right of the World to Come

Remarks delivered by the president of American Moment to the National Conservatism Conference.


I was once speaking with a friend who has a storied record of service in the State Department, the imperial capital of the deep state. He told me something that I have been trying to beat into everyone who will listen for years since. In politics and government, sociology always beats ideology. Who you are friends with is much more relevant than what you claim you believe.

What I am here to tell you today, my friends and colleagues, is that the right needs friends. Not just within the borders of their independent nations, no. The right needs to build a nationalist internationale, a global anti-globalist alliance fit to fight the forces arrayed against us.


This is not going to be easy, comfortable, convenient, or straightforward, but it is essential if we are going to win the battle over the 21st century and the future of independent nations in the world to come.

As the world became smaller in the post-war era because of telephones and air-travel, left-wing movements around the world found themselves embracing each other. What started as motley gangs of convening communist academics has become a highly organized constellation of influence networks, think-tanks, and pressure groups. 

The political left draws resources, knowledge, prestige, and power from this global network of allies. If the right is going to succeed, it must do the same. 

Many of our allies and enemies on the right alike would like to dismiss these networks as make-work jobs for neurotic queer literature and climate-change majors from colleges around the world that should be shut down. And, hey, don’t get me wrong—they are that.

But these patronage jobs matter. In any given nation, when everyday voters kick out their failed left-wing government, the functionaries that constituted that government find easy and immediate homes in the left’s global infrastructure. They don’t have to go get a “real job”—they pivot their abilities to influencing public life in a different way. They don’t have to worry about how they’re going to put food on the table, and most importantly their talents never go to waste. 


Imagine if the right had the same. Imagine if national conservatives built a global constellation of organizations that keep our people whole when the degenerate coalition of the socialist left and feckless right push us out of power. It would make it possible for talented people to commit their lives to our work, knowing that a patronage network is waiting for them if they need it—so their talents do not go to waste.

We need this even more than the left ever did. While their side is largely made up of miserable, lonely losers with no genetic future—most of our best people have families they need to look after. I never want to hear about the global talent shortage of national conservatives again unless every person in this room and outside it with the ability to play a role in helping build these patronage networks is doing so.

But it has been one of our cardinal errors to assume the global left’s infrastructure is only a jobs program, or that its benefits are purely financial.

Ambitious and capable people hunger for the greatest stage they can find. This is not immoral. In previous eras explorers and pioneers sought to fill in the edges of the map and colonize new lands. Likewise, it is understandable and even expected that political activists want a global stage to advance their ideas and exert their influence. Left-wing functionaries—especially the ones who don’t live in the world’s most powerful countries—derive essential prestige from their participation in this global network. 

A socialist intellectual in Croatia is vivified by invitations to big conferences in London. A cosmopolitan liberal in New Delhi really cares about getting that job at the United Nations in New York. Is this partially because the anti-nationalist left finds the concerns of their countrymen boring and unimportant? Almost certainly. Is that the only reason why? Absolutely not.

The human heart craves to feel part of something bigger than itself and its immediate surroundings. That is natural, and unless we contend with it on the right, we are crippling our ability to marshal an energized force to build the world of independent conservative nations that we all desire. I am not saying that we need our talent on their right to adopt the anti-nationalist globalist sociology of our enemies. What I am saying is that when someone serves the right with distinction in their nation, they should be platformed, promoted, and honored in global venues like these conferences to say they have done well.

An odd element of right-wing politics is that even as we skew more individualistic than our left-wing opponents, we talk about our political activity as a movement. That’s good and appropriate, but we seem to be frequently just as unwilling to indulge in what the left calls Great Man history as they are. This is a mistake. 

No political change can succeed without the work of millions—but it is foolish to pretend that we don’t have MVP’s. We need to get in the habit of acknowledging them. With no offense to my friends who contributed, symposia on national conservatism would have negligible impact if the West’s two great statesmen, Donald Trump and Nigel Farage, had not chosen to risk it all a decade ago. It is still they, and great men like them, who turn the wheels of history and will originate our advances in the coming years.

At every level of seniority, from the precocious college student to the elder statesman, we must develop tools to reward our greatest assets, our people. It’s why this conference has everything from a student leadership award to the Beaconsfield prize. We are asking a lot of the people who choose to dedicate their lives to the cause of God, family, and nation. Material prosperity, social comfort, polite anonymity, and even personal freedom are all on the line when someone chooses to step forward and fight for our cause. Just ask my friend Steve Bannon what this regime does to people who effectively fight it.

The forces arrayed against us want to isolate us and make us believe that we are alone, not just at home but around the world. The language is developing in real time to isolate national conservatives at the individual and regime levels from acceptance in polite society. When Viktor Orbán expels communist infiltrators from his country, when Nayib Bukele jails cartel thugs, or when Benjamin Netanyahu protects his nation from Gazan murderers, the “global community” seeks to make them feel alone and afraid in the face of their monolithic condemnation. We should expect bravery from our statesmen, but they are human. Our power will rise in the coming decades in direct correlation with our ability to honor great leaders who violate the pieties of the global left. 

The alternative is dark—we might elect great patriots who run on a platform of national renewal but instantly get assimilated into the global Borg when they gain power. The story of the last 40 years is replete with politicians who ran as great nationalists but ended their tenure as disgraced caretakers of national decline. 

I’m going to break character and quote Milton Friedman: “I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office.”

If we build a locus of prestige that is attractive, strong, and oriented around the principles of national conservatism, we can ensure that even weak leaders are tempted by participation in our coalition. Imagine if the trend of great campaigners turning into governing disappointments reversed, and instead political leaders were so attracted by the right we build here that they trend towards us.

The American right is seen as the most organized conservative movement in the world. Sometimes I wonder if that is true, but the perception matters. More importantly, it is the best funded and has the largest global stage. That matters. To my American national conservative friends: We have a specific and singular role to play in elevating the achievements of our colleagues around the world. It will make them stronger, it will normalize them, and we might learn something.

I’m the last person to dwell on the philosophical debates on the right. If I have to hear one more lecture about three-legged stools and Frankie Meyer and Fusionism, I might go for a swim in the Potomac with a concrete block tied to my ankle. But one of the practical consequences of the legacy right’s philosophical view is that America has nothing to learn from other nations around the world. American exceptionalism—which I believe in—has been contorted into an excuse to wad up cotton balls and stuff them in our ears and go “la-la-la-la.” The American right does not have a monopoly on good ideas, and every right-wing movement in the world would benefit from all of us being organized enough that we can share the best of what is being experimented with in our brother nations. If every state in the union is a laboratory of democracy—democratic nations experimenting with the cutting-edge in nationalist governance are as well.

This country is the most powerful in the history of the world. Total victory will take time. My American friends—we will save enormous time, energy, and heartache if we take the example of our colleagues around the world seriously. Experiments in securing borders, in building industries, and in encouraging demographic revival in our brother nations are valuable examples we can learn from when it comes time to reform our own regime.

It doesn’t mean that we need to import wholescale the precise details of Hungarian family policy or build a prison with the precise length, width, and depth as President Bukele’s in El Salvador—but it’s at least worth a look. We need the example of these brother nations most of all because the American right has been so intellectually constipated for the last half-century. Ideally, we would have been experimenting widely with creative policy to pursue our ends for the last few decades. We didn’t—because apparently the only trade barrier the legacy right is open to is one that applies to ideas.

National conservatism’s peanut gallery of morons and malcontents have a lot of incandescently stupid arguments they levy against us. Two are specifically absurd. The first is the idea that we have no right to criticize our nation’s elites because national conservatives frequently come from elite backgrounds. The second, and particularly relevant for this discussion, is that nationalists are hypocritical when they take an interest in and collaborate with their co-ideologues in foreign nations. Both are wrong for the same reasons; they are the legacy of an outdated form of right-wing organization that essentially believes that there is no moral way for right-wingers to organize. 

I refuse to believe that right-wing political forces are not allowed to engage in politics, and I would encourage you to do the same

I told you earlier that this would not be an easy process. Tighter collaboration between national conservative movements across the world will require a level of epistemic humility that the American right is not used to. The American national interest is not the Hungarian national interest is not the Indian national interest. They may overlap in some areas and diverge in others. Our enemies on the feckless right and socialist left will concern-troll about these differences to divide us. We cannot let them. 

Mitch McConnell took to the senate floor a few weeks ago to decry Hungarian diplomats working with China. Do I support China? No. Do I think that’s why Mr. McConnell gave that speech? Also no. His ire against our friends in Budapest is boiling over because they have done what I have laid out here well. They have helped build the global infrastructure that has taken a small eastern European country to the forefront of national conservatism—and used it to advocate for peace in the Russia-Ukraine war while the dead consensus in western foreign policy barrels us towards nuclear calamity.

Another reason this will not be easy is because of a tactical blind spot that conservatives have carried for the last 50 years. On the left there are no enemies to the left. A centrist neoliberal may not endorse burning down cities because George Floyd overdosed on fentanyl, but they did not criticize that destruction four years ago. But on the right, our intellectual class with their well-worn elbow patches can’t help but hyperventilate when someone, somewhere, in their same zip code, might be an iota to the right of them. This will apply to countries as well.

Either we can become epistemically comfortable with the fact that some nations will choose to go further in particular ways to defend themselves and their own, or we can pursue a principled detachment, trusting that national conservatives in every country will make different choices in their national interest, and that is fine.

I’ll give an example of particular relevance to this conference. We have spent the last decade decrying the baleful influence that corporate libertarians have on the public policy process in Washington. They do, and their influence is bad, and must be eroded. But when Javier Milei screams “AFUERA” while wielding a chainsaw, I cannot help but grin. Is it because it is always good when communists lose. Yes. But more practically, Argentina needs a chainsaw taken to its regulatory state, and it is well within my umbrella of national conservatism to see him succeed at taking his nation to the path of prosperity.

Religious particularism will be another reason for disunity. But those of us who chant that "Christ is King" should not abandon national conservatives of other creeds who are trying to build God-fearing, prosperous, and secure nations of their own. Evangelization to the evangelists. Politics to us gathered here.

The acid-bath of global left-wing rule has left the right deeply divided. We thought that victory would mean exclusively and ruthlessly focusing on building political power on our home fronts. That is critical, but it is not enough. If we want the kind of durable, paradigm shifting victories that will ensure that national conservatism goes from an occasional anomaly to the atmospheric default politics of the 21st century, we must unite and build a durable infrastructure that binds us together in common cause with common enemies.

Nothing is more terrifying to our opponents than the prospect of global cooperation among the right. There will be psyops galore in the coming years if national conservatives, especially in major nations like the United States, reclaim power. This alliance is still cradle-bound, and I thank God for these conferences having built and developed this community. If we succeed, the right of the world to come will be one where the default path for a young, ambitious, and talented patriot anywhere in the world will be to join this global brotherhood of national conservatives where we can lavish them with the resources, friends, prestige, and ideas to renew their nations. Thank you.